LONDON: A new public awareness campaign designed to help consumers and businesses improve their security whilst shopping, banking or socialising online has been launched by the UK government in association with the private sector.

Dubbed "Cyber Streetwise", the £4m campaign aims to change the way people view online safety and centres on the website, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The website has been set up to provide interactive resources and advice to help consumers and businesses to improve their online protection against cyber criminals.

As part of the government's National Cyber Security Programme, the campaign urges people to adopt a number of measures, such as making sure online retail sites are secure and checking privacy settings on social media.

Recent findings from the government's latest National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker of over 22,000 consumers revealed only 44% always installed internet security software on new equipment.

In addition, only 37% downloaded updates and patches for personal computers, falling even further to 21% for those using smartphones and mobile devices.

Security minister James Brokenshire said: "As a government, we are taking the fight to cyber criminals wherever they are in the world. However, by taking a few simple steps while online the public can keep cyber criminals out and their information safe."

Initial funding will be allocated from the government's National Cyber Security Programme, Marketing Magazine reported, and the campaign – created by M&C Saatchi – also features support and investment from industry.

Private sector partners include Facebook, Sophos, RBS banking group and Financial Fraud Action UK.

Data sourced from Daily Telegraph, Marketing Magazine; additional content by Warc staff