The Top UK Schemes to Govern Online Activities

David Banks
Authored by David Banks
Posted Friday, December 8, 2023 - 7:18am

The UK is widely regarded as one of the safest places to enjoy online activities thanks to a number of schemes that have been introduced. On October 26th, the UK government passed an online safety bill called the Online Safety Act 2023 to provide a safe space for UK citizens to use the internet.

The Online Safety Act 2023 is set to address potentially illegal or harmful online content and provides greater powers to deal with it. The act will cover England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. OFCOM will be granted powers to block access to certain search engines or services in the UK deemed harmful. This new act is set to provide greater levels of security across the board for UK citizens, but some schemes target specific sectors.

Individual bodies will still have control of their respective sectors, too. For example, the financial sector relies on the ability to provide safe and secure online payments. GOV.UK Pay provides a platform for the PCI (payment card industry) and ensures sensitive data is secure. Likewise, compliance and security measures are in place across the financial sector and in the NHS.

Then, we have to consider the online betting industry in the UK, a sector that has seen significant growth in recent years. The development of mobile technology and improved connectivity allows consumers to bet where and when they choose. Regulated online betting operators in the UK must sign up for the Gamstop scheme that allows gamblers to register and block themselves from betting websites if they have concerns.

All new customers who sign up to betting sites are checked against a register before being granted access. There are still reputable offshore sites outside the scheme that players can still access if they no longer feel the need to limit their gambling time. The UK’s betting industry is strictly regulated and there are multiple responsible gambling campaigns currently active to protect in-person and online customers.

UKCIS (the UK Council for Internet Safety) is a forum that promotes collaboration between the government and tech community to ensure online safety is a paramount concern in the UK. The UK Government is dedicated to providing the schemes and resources to protect internet users. The National Cyber Security Centre provides support and advice to the UK's private sector and the public to help them avoid security threats. Topics covered by the National Cyber Security Centre include AI, phishing, supply chain, passwords, devices, cyber strategies, and more. The resource provides up-to-date information on how to protect personal and business computers and mobile devices.

As the public and private sectors rely more heavily on online solutions, cybercriminals develop sophisticated strategies in an attempt to gain access to private information. The UK is well placed to defend against such criminal activities and the Online Safety Act 2023 is set to offer even more robust protection in the future.


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