Cybersecurity campaign launched in Pacific island states
Get Safe Online, a non-profit organization based in the UK, has launched a cybersecurity campaign against online scams affecting business in the Pacific region.
Websites for nine Pacific Island countries, which went online on July 1, aimed at providing online resources for the Pacific’s vital business operators.
The aim of the Pacific campaign is to raise awareness in each country’s business community of risks and safety measures which will protect people and businesses from online security risks. These risks include phishing scams, identity theft, ransomware, malware, viruses and other online threats.
“The services are fully funded and don’t require any resources from those who use them,” said Peter Davies, the global ambassador for Get Safe Online. “It’s an ambitious agenda but, with the benefit of our experiences and successes, we know it’s achievable.”
Funded by the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Commonwealth Cybersecurity Program, Get Safe Online will work with small and medium sized enterprises including independent operators in Pacific island countries through an ambitious communication campaign utilizing social media, newspapers, radio and other platforms.
The Pacific island countries included in the campaign are those that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations including Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Get Safe Online has been providing free, accessible public education and awareness services about online risks for over 14 years. In the United Kingdom it established a trusted reputation among the cybersecurity community and the public. More recently, it has been providing the same services in the 12 Caribbean countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Get Safe Online is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to keep individuals, businesses and the general public safe in an ever-changing digital world.
Online safety is essential for the increasing digital transactions many Pacific island people now use. “There is an urgent need for us to start delivering support services,” Davies said, “and it would be ideal to build partnerships with local organisations and individuals to do this more effectively.”
In the UK, Get Safe Online works with the UK government, law enforcement agencies, regulators and private sector organizations in the technology, communications, retail and finance sector where it is seen as a highly credible, authoritative body.
The campaign is also actively looking for organizations to partner with in the Pacific to ensure that messages about cybersecurity get to as many people as possible.
In the Pacific, websites and Facebook pages are being created for each island country, providing information and a forum for sharing cybersecurity concerns experienced by each country. In-country advocates and experts will also be identified to help support the campaign and provide outreach through workshops, radio interviews, etc. In this way, the specific concerns and needs of each island country for online safety will be addressed. Local advocates and experts can also ensure that local languages may be used to improve understanding of cybersecurity risks and protections. The website addresses are as follows:
Papua New Guinea www.papuanewguinea.getsafeonline.org
The Get Safe Online communication campaign in the Pacific is being managed by Pasifika Communications, based in Suva.
The Pasifika team is creating social media accounts for all nine countries, developing Facebook posts and animations, writing e-newsletters, creating press ads, radio ads and other media materials as well as helping to manage outreach efforts for the campaign throughout the Pacific. Impactive, relevant messages will be delivered to SMEs using various communication tools that are relevant for each island country. Pasifika will also assist with monitoring and evaluation of the campaign’s efforts.
The initial communication campaign will run from July 2020 to March 2021 but may be extended. The campaign is actively searching for relevant regional companies and for Pacific islanders in each of the nine countries who may be interested in partnering with the Project. Their involvement will help ensure the localization of issues and information, and the relevance of the topics to be covered in the communication materials.