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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 07:05 GMT
Campaign to combat 'cyber crime'
computer threat generic
New computer viruses appear daily
Millions of internet users risk attacks from cyber criminals because they do not understand how to protect their computers, new research has found.

A campaign, Get Safe Online, is launched in Cardiff on Monday, as part of a UK tour to tackle the problem.

Research has shown that 77% of people in Wales want information about protection over areas such as financial transactions and computer viruses.

Security experts will be in Cardiff to provide up-to-date information.

Cyber awareness in Wales
29% know little or nothing about safe computer use
33% rely on other family members for advice
15% open email attachments from unknown sources - one of the most common ways of spreading computer viruses
Only 10% feel they have a personal responsibility to protect themselves from online crime

The campaign is a multi-agency initiative led by the UK Government.

"The internet has become an essential tool for businesses and consumers, and has brought enormous benefits to our everyday lives, but we all know there are risks too," said John Hutton, Cabinet Minister responsible for e-Government.

"We're running the Get Safe Online campaign to make the internet a safer place to make financial transactions and exchange personal information.

"It's a challenge that I believe will be achieved by this collaboration between public and private sectors we've created."

Sharon Lemon, head of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, said internet crime posed a huge challenge.

kids online
All the family should be aware of threats

"Increasingly, we are seeing organised criminals turning to the internet as a vehicle for their criminality," she explained.

"As more of us are connecting to the internet to shop, bank, and communicate, we need to make sure that we do so as safely as possible."

Advisors will be available to answer queries at St David's Shopping Centre in Cardiff all day on Monday.

Organisers of the campaign are urging computer users to take simple steps to protect themselves.

Measures need for users to protect home PCs include:

  • running an anti-spyware programme
  • using anti-virus protection
  • keeping your firewall switched on
  • ensuring the operating system is updated

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