Scotland leads the way in making cyber security advice accessible to everyone

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training
  • Widening access to National Cyber Security Centre advice
  • Advice available in sixteen alternative formats
  • Project nominated for a Scottish Cyber Award

DURING Cyber Security Month (October), the CyberScotland Partnership is promoting newly created accessible format versions of the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Aware advice and guidance on how to be secure and safe online.

With funding from the Scottish Government, the advice has been developed by Lead Scotland in new formats accessible to people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, have learning or cognitive difficulties, whose first language isn’t English, those using adaptive digital technology, and others who experience barriers. The new formats include text, braille, British Sign Language, captioned video, community languages and Easy Read versions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become increasingly reliant on the internet. The CyberScotland Partnership advocates for accessible messaging to become standard practice.

Lead Scotland is promoting use of the alternative formats through a series of webinars and training events. The organisation has been short-listed for the Diversity Champion award at the Scottish Cyber Awards in November 2021 for its work on this project.

The alternative formats are available at https://www.lead.org.uk/alternative-formats-for-cyber-security-messaging/ and through www.cyberscotland.com.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, said: “I welcome Lead Scotland’s production of alternative formats for online safety and security messaging. Providing accessible formats in a range of languages to help adult learners in our communities to understand and follow the actions they can take for online security is vital for protecting themselves and continuing their learning journey in the safest way possible.”

Lead Scotland’s Chief Executive Officer, Emma Whitelock, said: “It is vitally important that cyber security messaging is meaningful and accessible for everyone to confidently understand how to stay safe and secure online. We are delighted to be working in partnership with organisations and individuals to produce cyber security messages in a range of accessible formats. We are offering free webinars and a train the trainer programme for people to engage with these key messages to learn how change their behaviour to stay safe and secure online.”

Nicola Hudson, Director Policy and Communications, NCSC said: “We warmly welcome Lead Scotland’s efforts to make cyber security messaging more accessible to all. Technology has played an essential role over the past eighteen months and there should be no barriers to people feeling secure online. These accessible resources mean we can ensure as many people as possible are aware of the six Cyber Aware steps which, if followed, protect against the majority of cyber crime.”

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