Home Affairs CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Get Safe Online [EC 10]

I write to you in my capacity as Chief Executive of Get Safe Online.

As you are probably aware Get Safe Online is part of the Governments supported national major public-private sector initiative to raise awareness of online security. It is aimed at consumers and micro-businesses. It is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on contributions from private and public sector organisations. Current sponsors are: Cabinet Office, BIS, Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), HSBC, Cable & Wireless, PayPal, Gumtree, VeriSign, Symantec, Ofcom and the National Fraud Authority (Action Fraud), Cable and Wireless, Creative Virtual, Trend Micro and Microsoft. It has a board of directors and an active steering group that meets on a bi-monthly basis to set both the strategic and tactical aims and objectives for the initiative on an on-going basis.

The Get Safe Online initiative is largely Internet based. The website at (www.getsafeonline.org) is a one-stop-shop for reliable, independent and easily understood up-to-date information about online safety. It gives home users and small businesses the advice they need to use the Internet safely. It includes information on protecting your PC, yourself and your business as well as advice on topics such as Internet shopping, social networking sites, data theft and identity fraud.

The key messages of the initiative are that online sales and transactions are increasing at an incredible pace. Get Safe Online wants people to be able to continue using the Internet, enjoying the many benefits it has to offer, but also to be aware of the risks and take the steps necessary to protect themselves and their families online. In addition, people are increasingly opting to use the Internet when transacting or interacting with Government and it is important they are online safely and securely.

The Get Safe Online initiative provides a significant contribution to helping computer users and small businesses to take steps to protect themselves, not least because the Get Safe Online name and branding has significant potential and is easy for consumers to remember and therefore access. Government and the private sector will need to continue to work together to ensure that the potential of the Get Safe Online initiative is maximised.

Having outlined the work that Get Safe Online is doing in the area of Internet Security we would welcome the opportunity to give evidence to select committee and to suggest a number of our active partners are also well place to provide significant information to assist you.

Tony Neate
Chief Executive
Get Safe Online

August 2012

Prepared 29th July 2013