Google is embarking on a countrywide roadshow this summer to inform and train the public on how to be safer and more secure online. On the back of new Google search insights that indicate Brits are increasingly concerned about how to control the security of their data online, the company is visiting five cities and over 30 schools over the next few months.

Google search insights have revealed Internet users in London, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester are the most frequent searchers of security related questions. A survey of 2,000 people* across the cities found over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed have had online services they use, such as an email account or online bank account, hacked or targeted by hackers in the last two years.

The survey also revealed:

  • Over a third of people, 35%, said they were afraid their personal information, such as password(s), bank details, or emails, could be taken by hackers and used without their permission or to pretend to be them
  • Almost a quarter, 24%, do not have any kind of security, such as a 4-digit code, pattern lock, or fingerprint scan, to secure their smartphone, despite an increasing amount of important personal information being stored on mobile devices
  • One in ten people reported their personal information has been used online without their permission
  • One in five, 22%, either have or are unsure if they have given information to a website that seemed genuine but was not (such as imitation banking sites or phishing sites that looked very similar to the original)

Google also today releases new search insights that highlight some of the most pressing questions and concerns the public in Britain have over their personal information, and the increasing frequency people are taking to Google to search security related questions.

Top searches around online security in the UK:

  1. How secure is my password?
  2. How do I change my gmail password?
  3. How to find my phone
  4. What is e safety?
  5. How do I stay safe online
  6. What is 2-step verification?
  7. How does find my phone work?
  8. What is the best internet security?
  9. How do I enable 2-step verification?
  10. How do I stay safe from online fraud?

Searches for some security questions have increased dramatically, according to Google data. The largest increases over the last few years have been:

  • “Email been hacked” – up by over 5,000%
  • “Phished account” – up by over 5,000%
  • Website scam check” – up by over 700%
  • “Change my password” – up by over 300%
  • “Identity theft protection” – up by over 250%
  • “Find my phone”, “Find my lost phone” and “lost my phone” – all up by over 5,000%

Laurian Clemence from Google UK, said

This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, knowing so many Brits are searching for information on how to keep their online data secure. Our workshops will cover best practices directly from Google’s privacy and security experts on how they can safeguard their passwords, update their account settings, find a stolen device, and check where they are sharing their data in just two minutes, from one place. Anyone can sign up, starting today.

People will also have the opportunity to ask Google any of the pressing questions they’ve always wanted to ask, as set out on their new Privacy page.