Half of UK people are not protecting themselves online, says government

Filed Under: Featured, Privacy, Security threats

Cyber theft. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.People are not doing enough to ensure they stay safe online, according to the UK government, who has today launched a new £4 million campaign to help raise awareness of cyber security issues.

Some facts and figures:

  • 94% of people surveyed see it as their personal responsibility to ensure a safer internet experience.


  • Just 44% always install security software on new equipment
  • Only 37% download updates and patches for personal computers when prompted - and just 21% do on mobile devices.
  • 30% use complex passwords to protect online accounts, and
  • 57% don’t always check websites are secure before making a purchase.

The Be Cyber Streetwise campaign aims to help raise awareness of cyber security, change the way people view and approach online safety, and provide tools and tricks through the Cyber Streetwise website to help everyone stay safer online.

The initiative is helping to educate people on how to:

  1. Use strong, memorable passwords
  2. Install anti-virus software on new devices
  3. Check privacy settings on social media
  4. Shop safely online by always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure
  5. Download software and application patches when prompted

Sophos is helping to support Cyber Streetwise with content and advice on the Cyber Streetwise website, as well as a range of tools and tips to help educate people on its own site.

There's even a 'Threat hunter' game to help you spot the threats that might be lying around on your desk.

Image of cyber thief courtesy of Shutterstock.

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3 Responses to Half of UK people are not protecting themselves online, says government

  1. ejhonda · 634 days ago

    It's time to start deflecting the risk and costs associated with poor security practices back at the end user. As long as companies are willing to absorb the costs (which ultimately are passed along to all consumers, diligent and non-diligent), then end users will remain lazy.

  2. Richard · 629 days ago

    How do the figures for unprotected / inadequately protected PCs in this article (generated by a survey) compare with those collected on a routine basis by GCHQ?

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About the author

Anna Brading is Naked Security's editor. She has worked in tech for more than ten years and as a writer with Sophos for over five. She's interested in social media, privacy and keeping people safe online.