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UK government to launch new cybercrime education programme

The government is set to launch a major campaign to improve education around online security, with officials claiming both the young and old require a far better understanding to deal with the growing threat of cybercrime in the UK.

The Cabinet Office will launch the sweeping public awareness programme this spring, reports The Guardian. "We need to crack this problem,” the Cabinet Office’s parliamentary secretary Chloe Smith, who is leading the campaign, told the paper. With businesses and the general public being targeted, Smith spoke of making the UK “well prepared for incidents” in the cyber-sphere, and to have “government and industry and academia working together to take it seriously."

The campaign will seek to educate children from a “very young” age, as “people are on the net aged three or four,” a senior official said. As children get older, the plan aims to make clear the dangers around identity and card fraud.

But older generations, and specifically the “risky men” category, have also been sounded out by the Cabinet Office. This group refers to “men who do quite a lot of Skype and retail online [and] think they are capable of managing the risk, but they are not,” the official said.

The government will be hoping its campaign can improve the UK's resilience to digital threats, in a world that now sees 1.5 million people fall victim to cybercrime every day, according to a recent report from Norton.

When ITProPortal analysed the issue with security research group Team Cymru, inadequate policing was identified as a major problem - as well as poor education. “Police officers around the world haven’t got the skills or the resources and there simply aren’t enough specialists,” said ex- Scotland Yard detective, Steve Santorelli.