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U.K. to issue public virus alerts

British government creates a Web site with virus alerts and security advice for home PC users and small businesses.

The British government has created a Web site with virus alerts and security advice for home PC users and small businesses.

The site, called ITsafe, will provide free information on the latest virus threats as well as advice on Internet surfing, e-mail use and protecting personal and business data.

The site is funded by the British government's Home Office and will use data from the National Infrastructure Security Coordination Center (NISCC), which is responsible for monitoring threats to the United Kingdom's critical national infrastructure.

People will receive e-mail or text alerts about new virus and security threats once they have signed up to the service.

The Home Office said the alerts will outline the damage potential of any new threats and will offer instructions for any actions a person needs to take to update the security of their PC.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said the site will provide jargon-free and easy-to-understand advice for nontechnically minded PC users.

Roger Cumming, director of NISCC, said in a statement that ITsafe will "take our technical expertise and use it to help home users understand the risks and keep their computer systems, mobile phones and a range of related consumer electronic items safe."

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.