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.