Google is visiting Birmingham next week as part of a countrywide roadshow to inform and train the public on how to be safer and more secure online. Following new Google search insights that indicate the public are concerned about how to secure their data online, the company will visit Birmingham to host a one-off training seminar on 21st August at The Digital Garage.

Google search insights have revealed Internet users in Birmingham are amongst the most frequent searchers of security related questions in the UK. A survey of 500 people* in Birmingham 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:

·         One in five people, 20%, surveyed said personal information, such as password(s), bank details, or emails, had been taken by hackers and used without their permission or used to pretend to be them in the past

·         Over one in five people, 21%, 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). 35% reported they are regularly worried about keying their password into a website when online

Birmingham was selected to host a workshop following the release of new Google search insights that highlight the high amount of people in the city searching security related topics or questions. People in Birmingham Google search “Am I being hacked?” and “Identify theft” far more than the national average, according to Google’s trend analysis. “My phone has been hacked” and “Find my phone” are also searched disproportionately high in Birmingham compared to the national average.

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 people from Birmingham are searching for “Am I being hacked?” shows there is a clear demand for information on how to stay safe online. Our workshop 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.”

Councillor Penny Holbrook, Cabinet Member for Skills, Learning and Culture at Birmingham City Council said: “The internet offers so many opportunities but it is important that everyone knows how to stay safe and secure online. Google’s Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham is proving to be a big success and this workshop is another initiative that shows that a modern library is about so much more than simply books.”


Attendees at the Birmingham event will be able to book a one-to-one private consultation with a Google Security Ambassador, while also getting best practice tips on how to keep their personal data safe and secure from a Google’s security expert.