Training

Cyber Action Plan tool

by Mark Rowe

A digital tool for individuals to receive advice on improving their cyber security has been launched, as part of UK Government’s Cyber Aware campaign. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, has launched the free of use Cyber Action Plan tool whereby you can receive advice on improving your cyber security.

NCSC Director for Policy and Communications, Nicola Hudson, said: “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. 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.”

Meanwhile polling independently carried out on behalf of the NCSC has shown that most, 81 per cent, of British people fear themselves or their friends or family falling victim to cyber crime. The statistics have been broken down into regions and ages – giving a reflection of the fears the country has about online dangers. Specifically: 58pc are worried about their money being stolen online, 53pc about having their personal details stolen online; and 48pc about their devices being infected by viruses or malware.

Those aged 25 to 34 years old are most worried – with 86pc in this age bracket airing concerns. The NCSC urges people to complete a short survey at www.cyberaware.gov.uk that generates a personalised list of actions linked to the Cyber Aware behaviours.

Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, 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.”

You can report suspicious emails and texts by forwarding to [email protected] and 7726 respectively.

Comment

Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at the cyber firm ESET, said: “People often have no idea where to turn in times of crisis, and some have a limited awareness of cybercrime and how it works. This initiative from the government will work extremely well for those who are struggling to grasp how malicious actors operate and want to learn more about how to protect themselves online. Cybercrime is by no means slowing down – and is likely to only increase in future. Therefore, education, which has fallen by the wayside, is key in mitigating many common attacks such as phishing, smishing and more targeted attacks.

This is more important than ever at the current moment, as the stress of the coronavirus pandemic – which 47% of people are struggling to manage, according to the Cyberchology report – can make it more difficult for individuals to navigate cyber threats. Many are distanced from normal sources of tech support, whether this is family, friends, or colleagues, and feel pressured to make decisions quickly. Offering personalised advice will help to combat this, allowing people to recognise and address their own cybersecurity blindspots. An individualised approach like this has the potential to make a far greater impact than any one-size-fits-all solution.”

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