A free tool providing people with bespoke advice on how to better protect themselves from online threats has been launched by the UK’s cyber security agency.
The service allows users to complete a short survey about their IT habits which will generate a personalised list of recommendations, as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign.
It comes amid heightened public concern around cyber attacks, with a poll by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – suggesting 81% of Britons fear themselves, friends or family falling victim to cyber crime.
Of the 1,200 surveyed, six in 10 (58%) said they are specifically worried about money being stolen online, while more than half (53%) feared having their personal details taken.
“The last year has shown us the great value online technology brings to us all – but people are right to be wary that cyber criminals could look to take advantage of our increasingly digital lives,” said Nicola Hudson, director for policy and communications at the NCSC.
“We can protect ourselves from the majority of cyber crime by following the six practical Cyber Aware steps and the newly launched Cyber Action Plan will help people to personalise this advice.
“I would urge everybody to visit the Cyber Aware site, use the Cyber Action Plan tool and follow our steps to secure themselves online.”
Action Fraud recently revealed that it has received more than 15,000 reports of email and social media hacking alone in the last year.
Almost nine in 10 incidents (88%) were from members of the public whose personal accounts had been compromised, resulting in £283,500 collectively being stolen.
Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of the Citizens Advice charity, said: “With many of us having to stay in over the past year, we’re more reliant on the internet to help us do things like keep in touch with loved ones or work from home.
“It’s vital we all know how to stay safe online. NCSC’s new Cyber Action Plan tool will help provide personalised and practical advice for staying cyber aware.
“Unfortunately, Citizens Advice has seen a huge increase in people seeking help with online scams since the pandemic began. If you need help identifying an online scam, Citizens Advice’s online Scams Action tool can help you.”
The tool can be accessed by visiting cyberaware.gov.uk.