Australian cybersecurity video plays dumb to raise awareness, but will it work?

A new cybersecurity video from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has taken an unusual approach to raising awareness, playing dumb in this mock public service announcement aimed at a “non-technical” audience.

The video, titled “Recognise. Report.” stars comedian and radio host Merrick Watts, who plays a spokesperson for the made-up Department of International Security. Watts gives a tour of the fictional department, offering sound advice on everything from identity theft to dealing with spam, but as ZD Net reports,  the video throws in a few clumsy stereotypes with its light-hearted approach to security education.

Reaction to the video has been mixed, with Gizmodo describing it as “atrociously bad” and “painful to watch”. Twitter has also been divided, while comments on YouTube have been disabled.

ACSC co-ordinator Major General Steve Day defended the video, hoping it could become a useful resource for organizations looking to alert their employees to the dangers of cybercrime. While the delivery is at times jarring, the message at least is an important one.

“We have tried something different,” says Day in a statement on the ASCS website. “We would welcome constructive feedback to help us fine tune our communication to ensure it is useful for the intended audience.”

“We have taken a light hearted approach, simplified the message, and concluded with a strong call to action to report suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.”

Will it work? We’ll leave you to watch the video and make up your mind, and let us know what you think of ASCS’s approach in the comments below.

Author , ESET

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