UK plc must heed advice in fight against net crime

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The world of smaller businesses has become the target of two Home Office online security initiatives.

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) has launched a set of guidelines aimed at helping small businesses fight cybercrime.

In a separate move, the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) has created a website targeting SMEs with information on the latest threats to computer security.

The NHTCU's online guide has tips for firms on how to guard against threats from hackers, viruses and other criminal activity.

The NISCC's advice website ( is part of a government initiative to provide information to small businesses in plain English on malicious attacks.

Launched at the end of February, the website will also send out emails and text messages about current security alerts to users who sign up to the service.

But critics say the approach will be lost on most small businesses, and one small business owner said the initiatives were useful, but more could be done.

"What would be helpful would be a checklist so new businesses could tick off these security points as they went along," said Leigh Ashton, founder of London-based firm The Sales Consultancy.
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