Real issues for cybersecurity awareness

It's National Cyber Security Awareness Week, but it's hard to get excited when the government's entire awareness strategy is to spend less than 10 cents per Australian per year to repeat the obvious.

It's National Cyber Security Awareness Week, but it's hard to get excited when the government's entire awareness strategy is to spend less than 10 cents per Australian per year to repeat the obvious.

The government's Stay Smart Online website has some important but basic messages. Install and renew your security software. Set all your software to auto-update. Think before you click on links and attachments. Check your privacy settings on social networking sites. Those simple steps and the others they list can obviously make a difference — provided that you know what they mean in practice.

According to security evangelist Paul Ducklin from Sophos, having a cyber security awareness week is like having a safe driving afternoon. Online security isn't about what you do during one week. It's about changing behaviour and adopting a more security-conscious lifestyle online.

As Ducklin explains on this week's Patch Monday podcast, it should also be about demanding better privacy protections from companies like Facebook, and better security practices from companies like Sony.

We also hear briefly from Iain Dale, one of the UK's leading political bloggers and a former Conservative Party politician, with a few thoughts on how politicians can use social media. Dale is presenting the keynote speech at the Microsoft Politics and Technology Forum in Canberra this Wednesday, 1 June.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 27 minutes, 56 seconds.

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