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In England, taking cybercrime seriously

The Lords' Science and Technology Committee will look at the nature of security threats facing private individuals, the scale of the problem, and how well the public understands the nature of those threats.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

In the UK, the House of Lords is taking end users' security concerns seriously, ZDNet UK reports. The Lords' Science and Technology Committee will look at the nature of security threats facing private individuals, the scale of the problem, and how well the public understands the nature of those threats, it said on Friday.

"We are doing more and more online, from our weekly grocery shop to banking to downloading music and video and, increasingly, using the Internet to make telephone calls," said Lord Broers, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. "Those who haven't yet done so are being encouraged to get online, but how many of us know about the risks?" Broers added.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for business antivirus vendor Sophos, said something more is needed. Do-gooder public awareness campaigns like the UK's Get Safe Online have not proved effective.

"Get Safe Online was launched with the best intentions, but it has failed. The average guy in the street doesn't have much of a clue about how to protect their computer, or about GetSafeOnline. Some serious money has to be spent to raise awareness," said Cluley.

"One big issue is that there is not really a framework to report cybercrime, and that New Scotland Yard probably doesn't have enough resources and budget to address it. The police need a proper budget," said Cluley.

A report from the Attorney General found that fraud victims are often unable to report the crime to the police and fraud perpetrated against companies is viewed as victimless.

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