Senator Conroy launches National E-security Awareness Week

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Senator Conroy launches National E-security Awareness Week

The National E-security Awareness Week was launched today to help Australians understand e-security risks and how they can protect themselves online.

Commencing today, the week is an initiative of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy that brings together the Government with Australian and international companies, industry bodies and community groups.

eBay, McAfee, Microsoft Australia, Sophos, Symantec, Telstra, the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, and the Australian Seniors Computer Club Association are among many organisations that will participate in the week’s events.

“The internet is a very useful and entertaining medium, however it is important that people stay smart and think about online security,” said Communications Minister Senator Conroy.

“A range of organisations are partnering with National E-security Awareness Week by holding public information sessions and events and providing information to customers, members and staff,” he said.

To kick-start the week, Senator Conroy announced the new Stay Smart Online Alert Service, which is a free, subscription-based service that aims to provide Australian Internet users with information and advice about e-security threats and vulnerabilities.

The service will be delivered via a Web site, http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au, which also will include a Small Business Self-assessment Tool to help small businesses assess and improve their online security practices.

A range of events for seniors, small businesses, students, parents and teachers will be held by participating organisations during the coming week at various locations in Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Events and seminars will address Web security issues to do with what IT security vendor Sophos describes as a growing dependence on the Web for purchasing and gathering information.

“With ever increasing internet usage and the rising prevalence of social interaction via sites such as Facebook and MySpace, computer users need to be more than ever aware of potential dangers,” said Rob Forsyth, Sophos's Asia Pacific managing director, who will be speaking at the National E-security Awareness Week event in Melbourne.

“This is not the time for internet users to bury their heads in the sand, and hope no one notices any gaping security holes in their network,” he said.

“Today, attacks are sophisticated, well funded and targeted. Small businesses and individuals are particularly vulnerable targets for cybercriminals if they don’t know how best to protect their information while online.”
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