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Get Safe Online - Get Top Gear

I was at the Get Safe Online launch in London today, where not only did I get to meet Top Gear’s high-speed Richard Hammond over a coffee but also recorded his little speech on internet safety for you.

Research from Get Safe Online has found that over three quarters of the UK’s population (83 per cent) don’t know enough about protecting themselves online. Nearly half (42 per cent) of the population rely on friends and family for online safety advice rather than finding expert information for themselves. This lack of education, which Get Safe Online aims to address, threatens to undermine confidence in an online retail economy is worth £10bn a year. An estimated 14m use online banking


The idea is of course that everyone goes online, checks out the website and learns to avoid all the nasty pitfalls that go hand in hand with the internet. In fact the timing couldn’t be better, as I have to go and help rescue Captain Bob’s PC tomorrow, as he tells me a virus has eaten all his email!

One good quip this morning was from Sharon Lemon, the head of the national Hi-tech Crime Unit, who, referring to the dangers presented by internet chat rooms, said there’s no other place “Where you’ll make up a name for yourself and start talking smut to complete strangers.”

Of course, the high point of the meeting, with about fifty of us there, was a personal webcast from President Tony from No10. He had sent Home Office Minister John Hutton along to make a speech endorsing the importance of the project but Tony wanted to remind us that he was pretty keen on it too and that he was still Prime Minister, possibly because Gordon Brown was having breakfast with Bill Gates at the same time. I rather wonder what they spoke about. Africa, U2 or Gordon’s election plans perhaps?

Richard Hammond, BBC Top Gear and Brainiac presenter launches the Get Safe Online Initiative in London on 28th October 2005

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