Publisher hopes to ease online privacy worries

Staff from the Helpful Book Company in Millom with the company's new book on online privacy
Staff from the Helpful Book Company in Millom with the company's new book on online privacy
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:04PM

MILLOM firm The Helpful Book Company has brought out a new book designed to educate and inform readers about online privacy.

The publication - Privacy: Truth & Lies: The Truth about Privacy in the Modern World and How it Affects Your Life (whether you know it or not) - puts into detail what different organisations can find out about web users.

This covers companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft as well as the government, organised criminals and small-time hackers.

In the UK there were 150,000 cases of identity theft in 2015 and this crime is on the increase. The book outlines steps to deal with it.

It has been written following enquiries from the firm's customers about the issues.

The Helpful Book Company, which is based at Devonshire Road Insustrial Estate in Millom has been publishing books that help people with technology for 11 years.

Its founder, Tim Wakeling, started off writing notes to help his parents use their computer and it now employs a team of 15 people, which has produced books to help people master technology like computers, tablets and smartphones.

The company's titles are primarily aimed at readers who are over the age of 55.

"They are the type that are keen to learn how to use computers but are sick of relying on their grandchildren," joked operations director Laura Pattinson.

"You can only get the books through us. We advertise in national newspapers and magazines like Saga and Radio Times."

This new book is something of a departure for the company as it does not cover a specific product but a broader issue.

Mrs Pattinson said: "In the past we have focused on how to use tablets and computers. Our customers sign up for a free newsletter which allows them to communicate with us.

We get a lot of people saying they have had emails about things and they are not sure what they mean - for example, smartphones and tablets can track where you are and we get emails from people who ask how many people are tracking you if you are using a tablet."

The book aims to address some of the concerns which readers might have about using technology.

"A lot of people come out with scare stories and we try to quash that kind of thing," Mrs Pattinson said.

"We were just listening to demand from customers; that is what led us down this path."

She added: "It is still linked to what we have done in the past though."

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