Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Search for Security Google Launches Campaign to Teach Computer Users the Basics of Safety on the Internet

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Search for Security Google Launches Campaign to Teach Computer Users the Basics of Safety on the Internet

Article excerpt

Creators of the world's largest search engine have launched a campaign to help users beef up online security.

Google kicked off its "Good to Know" consumer education campaign across the nation this morning, advertising online and in more than two dozen newspapers and magazines to spread the word. The campaign has been running in the United Kingdom and Germany since October.

The point, according Eric Davis, Google's global public policy security lead, is to teach users basic tips they can implement to make personal computers, tablets and smartphones more secure.

"When I think of the average user, I think of my parents. They're intelligent ... they want to stay safe online, but they're not necessarily tech-savvy," he said. "A lot of people got new computers and devices over the holidays, and they may not know the best practices for keeping them safe."

Using simple language and a series of cartoons to illustrate points, the campaign also attempts to explain issues such as cookies, the use of IP addresses to identify a user's geographic location, and how each of those concepts affect privacy online.

But Mr. Davis said the key points the company hopes to drive home are password security, locked screens, searching the Internet from a secure connection and using new tools such as two-step verification to provide obstacles for hackers. Additionally, he said the campaign hopes to remind users to be wary of sites that request financial information without using the HTTPS security protocol and to use common sense when making any online transaction.

"The Internet is a complex ecosystem, like a city, and when I'm in the city I try to make good, informed choices," he said. …

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