Resellers are hoping a new web site launched by the government and industry titans to offer advice about safer transactions online will boost the number of SMEs ordering via the web, opening new revenue streams.
The site – getsafeonline.org.uk – aims to raise awareness of the dangers of e-crime and online fraud, and to become a trusted reference site for SMEs wanting advice on security issues, such as viruses and spyware. Microsoft, Dell, and MessageLabs are among backers of the site.
Stephen Millard, vice-president of marketing EMEA at MessageLabs, said: “The economical success of the UK depends on consumer confidence. By encouraging more people to use the internet we can ensure online growth.
“Simple, clear advice from one source is required to effectively improve the understanding of threats and to encourage small businesses to take responsibility for security.”
Mike Dean, director for membership at the National Computing Centre, also welcomed the scheme and said that it could become a valuable source for smaller firms to get first-stage advice on security. “For the three and half million smaller firms, this will provide access to free independent information,” he said.
Dean added that the internet is an essential, low-cost source of income for smaller channel players and if consumers feel safe trading, it could prove a timely boost to business.
Bob Jones, managing director of Equiinet, was more cautious. “I welcome the initiative, but it has to be done properly. The dangers of a halfhearted approach have been highlighted by the launch earlier this year of ITsafe, a similar government initiative aimed at small businesses.
“The information was so superficial and inadequate that it became dangerous. This new Get Safe Online approach has to be done thoroughly or not at all,” he said.
Get Safe Online is supported by the government and private sector sponsors including eBay, HSBC, LloydsTSB and Yell.com, and is set for an October launch.
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