Skip to main content

UK Gov gets serious about security with Cyber Streetwise campaign

London commuters travelling into work today might have noticed a new series of adverts wedged in among the singles dating apps and charity appeals.

The government's new "Cyber Streetwise" campaign launched today, aimed at educating members of the public about the need for cyber security. Its cartoonish antics take users though the importance of strong passwords, secure wireless connections and proper business IT security.

The project even comes with an extremely lively twitter account (opens in new tab).

Centring on the Cyber Streetwise website (opens in new tab), the campaign aims to change the way people view the risks of online safety.

The campaign seeks to draw parallels between unsafe security practices online and in people's everyday lives. The ads show people leaving their cars and houses unlocked, with signs alerting potential burglars to weaknesses in their security.

"The internet has radically changed the way we work and socialise," said Security Minister James Brokenshire. "It has created a wealth of opportunities, but with these opportunities there are also threats. As a government we are taking the fight to cyber criminals wherever they are in the world."

Martin Sugden, CEO of Boldon James agrees with the need for greater public education.

"The Government have identified that one of the key aspects to cyber security is empowering your employees - helping them protect themselves and manage your data securely," he said.

"This has been driven by recent changes in working practices (including the rise of Social Media) which mean that most employees are now on the 'front line' of communication, so need as much information as possible to understand which data can be shared and which should not."

The UK government launched £4 million cyber security campaign back in June (opens in new tab), with the aims of increasing public awareness.

However, with new threats like the CryptoLocker Trojan (opens in new tab) increasingly threatening British homes and small businesses, this new campaign aimed at less tech-savvy users couldn't come sooner.

Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper

Paul has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Discover Magazine, and he was previously Staff Writer and Journalist at ITProPortal.