HaztePre, new awareness campaign

Last 4 December 2009, the Consejo Nacional Consultivo de Cyberseguridad (National Consultative Committee on IT Security, or CNCCS, partially founded by S21sec) together with the Instituto de Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (Institute of Information and Communication Technology, INTECO) and the Oficina de Seguridad del Internauta (Office of security for Internet users, OSI) started a new awareness campaign called HaztePre. The campaign, hosted at, targets people of all ages with basic knowledge of the Internet, and gives information on using new technologies in a responsible and safe manner. It offers not only educational material, but also advice, guides and free tools. Its motto is: “En Internet, como en la vida, hay que SerPRE: ser precavido, estar prevenido y preparado”, which means : in the Internet, as in real life, we must be cautious, careful and ready.

The campaign deals with the most important good habits for using a computer that should be taken into account by Spanish Internet users. It also gives some tips on how to stay safe and act cautiously: detailed instructions about the threats circulating on the Internet, guides on how to browse safely on the Net – safe behavior in social networks, on-line shopping, etc -, a customer service number of the Oficina de Seguridad del Internauta, some free security tools and many more resources.

The reason driving this campaign is the lack of awareness of the average computer user in Spain about on-line security problems, which has been observed in various studies. One of the main reasons for this poor security practices is that the expansion of the Internet in Spain has been too quick. Currently, seven out of every ten people consume digital content. Due to this quick success of the Internet in the country, many users browse the web without knowing enough about IT security. Thus, 56.2% of computers in Spain are infected, a figure that puts our country in the 12th position in number of computers infected.

The majority of infections are caused by the users’ lack of knowledge about the threats on the Net and how to counter them. For example, according to a survey, although 96% of Spanish users are protected by some kind of security software, barely 30% has a security suite and only 34% have something as basic as a firewall. Also, more than half of the users have only an anti-virus application.

Regarding Internet browsing habits, the results reveal that users fail as well in this area. 64% of Spaniards claim to use on-line banking services, but 32% admit that they don’t take any extra precautions to use them, even though more than 1300 cases of Phishing targeting financial institutions have been registered since the beginning of this year.

Let’s hope that these campaigns can encourage the use of safe environments, so that the citizens can be more protected in their everyday digital life.

María Asín

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