• Michael Weeding

We Cannot Rely on Government Alone to Promote Cyber Security

In case you missed it last week was the National Cyber Security Awareness, which is an Australian Government initiative, held annually in partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments. The complicated part of cyber security is that there are many messages that need to be communicated so education on this topic is not an easy task.

If you are a parent like myself, Cyber bullying is one of the most important messages. If you look hard you can find some good information and advice, the problem is that you do need to look hard. The concern is that much of the information and advice I found before getting to the good stuff was out of date. A common piece of advice is to set up your computer in a general place in your home so you can monitor usage, this is good advice if we were back in a time before the Smartphone. With more of the potential cyber bullying victims accessing the Internet through their phones this piece of advice unfortunately will not provide an effective strategy. A good post on the Stay Smart Online Blog provides some up to date and relevant information for parents.

Over the coming years we can expect to see more targeted abuses of personal identity through social media platforms. There is a lot of personal information available through social media platforms and the majority of users are not familiar with the best ways to secure their data. As part of the National Cyber Security Awareness week Facebook promoted a set of guidelines for security. A lot of what they have promoted is common sense to some, such as not sharing your password although the more complicated strategies of generating a one time password to use every time you login from a computer that is not your own. As a whole the security tips are very comprehensive, although I would not be confident that they will be followed by the majority of Facebook users.

We cannot under estimate the importance of getting the message about staying safe online as digital becomes a more important part of the future for consumers and business. The challenge is to create a community approach to education, we cannot rely just on government initiatives.


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