Good to know

Monday, October 17, 2011 | 11:57 AM

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Today in the UK we launched Good To Know, a consumer advertising campaign designed to give people practical guidance on staying safe online. Companies and developers that build online services are often dismissed as playing fast and loose with privacy. No doubt some bad actors do so, but most of them, including Google, understand that the viability of our businesses relies on people and their information being safe online. That safety encompasses both security and privacy.

While people want to stay safe online, many of them don’t feel equipped to do so. Our goal with the Good To Know campaign is to provide people with practical guidance, from selecting safe passwords to keeping their online accounts secure. Google and the Citizens Advice Bureau are working together to educate and empower consumers across the UK.

Today we’re also launching a new section of the Google website that makes learning about security and privacy easier for the average consumer. We know that in-depth resources like privacy policies and terms of service are often too long, complex and legalistic. In the past few years, we’ve tried to make it easier to learn about privacy by creating short videos and by working to reduce the length and complexity of our privacy policy. The new Good to Know website builds on this commitment to explaining things in simple language. The in-depth resources are still there, but we hope a more layered approach will make this information more accessible for everyone.

Keeping people safe and providing them with the services they want requires both careful engineering and sensible public policy. It also requires that consumers understand both the benefits and the potential dangers of using new technologies. Improved media literacy will be essential to the ongoing success of the Internet, and we look forward to continuing to engage in this discussion.

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