Making Online Security Messaging Accessible

24th March 2021

Lead Scotland is proud to be working with a range of partners commissioning and developing new alternative formats of online safety and security messaging for people who might find current messaging inaccessible.

The new formats will include text formats, braille, British Sign Language, captioned video, community languages and easy read formats. Accessible messages will be developed with people and supporters who need alternative formats.

“Technology has been a great enabler in many ways during the pandemic, but with the increasing risk from cyber attacks it is absolutely essential that everyone understands how to stay safe and secure online. We know, for example, that some people with literacy or memory difficulties are more likely to choose a weaker password because it is easy to remember. We will support people to find strategies to overcome barriers and stay safe and secure online.”

– Emma Whitelock, Lead Scotland’s Chief Executive Officer

“The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework for a Cyber Resilient Scotland commits us to supporting people to know the cyber risks they face and be well prepared to manage them. Guidance must be accessible to all so I am pleased that Scottish Government funding will help Lead Scotland to coordinate this important work. I ask that community learning and development partners play their part in ensuring that these materials reach as many people as possible.”

– Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

“SCVO are delighted to be involved with this initiative – making our cyber messaging accessible is an opportunity to engage with many more people and ensure everyone in society has access to these important messages. Furthermore, I am confident that this project will start a culture of embedding accessibility requirements at the very beginning of all future cyber campaigns. With the collective strength brought about by the new CyberScotland Partnership, this project is well timed to make sure all key players in cyber resilience in Scotland ensure that their materials are accessible to anyone who wishes to use them”.

– Alison Stone, Cyber Resilience Co-ordinator

“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 twelve months and there should be no barriers to people feeling secure online. This will be a helpful way of ensuring as many people as possible are aware of the six Cyber Aware steps to protect people from the majority of cyber crime.”

– Nicola Hudson, Director Policy and Communications, NCSC

A laptop with several things popping out- an email with a shield, another shield with a tick and a webpage with a padlock

We need your help

The list of possible new formats has been formulated from government surveys and the feedback of 209 participants from our recent Cyber Scotland Week 2021 activities. 

We’re now asking organisations about the types of formats that would be useful for their practitioners and service users. Please help us understand how we could support your staff, volunteers and service users to stay safe online so that we can meet your needs as we plan our programme of work, supported by the Scottish Government.

The survey can be found here – it should take around 5-10 mins to complete and the deadline is March 31st.