Get Safe Online uses hacker

The largest-ever UK PR campaign to tackle online identity fraud has included the use of a ‘white hat’ ethical hacker to demonstrate how people can become victims.

Get Safe Online, the government-backed campaign group, was assisted in the launch by Edelman, which has been the group’s retained agency since its inception three years ago. 

The campaign will also include focusing media relations on two trends in internet usage – social networking sites and wi-fi.

Edelman account director Reena Mistry said: ‘We wan­ted to grab people’s interest, get them to understand how criminals operate and show them that they do have control over it. By thinking about how much information you include on social networking sites, you can minimise the risk. It’s about how you use the internet.’

Edelman produced pre-recorded demos of the ethical hacker – an officer from the Serious Organised Crime Agency – who took just 15 minutes to access and steal passwords and other personal data from a nearby laptop.

Research carried out by ICM Research showed that 11 million Britons who use social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook may be leaving themselves open to identity fraud.

Edelman’s core team of four is led by director of corporate affairs Pamela Fieldhouse, who reports to Get Safe Online marketing director Vivienne Quinn.

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