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Crime Prevention: Internet

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what assessment he has made of levels of public awareness of the Get Safe On-line website; what assessment he has made of the website’s effectiveness in reducing levels of online crime; and how much he plans to spend on promoting awareness of the website in 2009-10; (264032)

(2) if he will make potential threat information received from the National Fraud Reporting Centre available on the Get Safe On-line website.

Get Safe Online is a joint public and private sector initiative to raise awareness of internet safety. Its work includes not only a website but community events, educational publicity campaigns, roundtable discussions and conferences as well as general PR and marketing activity to reach a broad audience and help inform general internet users of how to go online safely and with confidence. Research carried out in November 2008 showed that 22 per cent. of people were spontaneously aware of Get Safe Online. www.getsafeonline.org currently has over 291,000 links on the Internet compared to its US counterpart www.staysafeonline.info which has 11,000 links. The research also highlights an improvement in steps people are taking to prevent themselves falling victim to online crime such as a decrease in the number of people opening e-mail attachments from unknown sources and an increase in those updating their software, although it is difficult to directly attribute this to the campaign activity.

The Cabinet Office has sponsored Get Safe Online for the past four financial years. Budgets for 2009-10 are yet to be determined in relation to my Department’s sponsorship of Get Safe Online. Get Safe Online has agreed to promote relevant internet fraud alerts from the National Fraud Reporting Centre.