Home Office launches safe computing site

The UK government has launched a website warning of the latest IT security threats and offering advice for safe computing.

The IT Security Awareness for Everyone (ITsafe) website was set up by the Home Office using information provided by the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) – the Government’s centre for electronic defence.

The website offers an alert service for new threats that can be delivered either via email or text. The recipient will then be directed to information on what to do to avoid the risk, and what actions to take if you have been successfully targetted.

No doubt it won’t be long before a mass-mailing virus is discovered spoofing the from domain as ‘@itsafe.gov.uk’.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said: ‘I find it kind of ironic that the news of ITsafe came out in the same week that the FBI are warning people to be wary of emails which appear to come from them, because they may be infected by Sober-K (currently accounting for over 21 per cent of all reports to Sophos by the way, and continuing to rise).’

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said: ‘There is a clear need for easy-to-understand and simple independent advice for non-technically minded people who use computers either at home or at work. The purpose of this new Government service is to ensure computerusers are aware of the risks involved and how to deal with them easily and effectively without causing alarm.’

Signing up to this service will give users an extra level of defence in two key ways; by providing general advice on IT security and issuing official alerts if and when it is felt there is a serious enough threat from a particular virus or other form of threat.’

For more information, visit the ITsafe website.

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