The House of Lords has got behind government plans to make surfing online safer.

Following on from the publish of the Personal Internet Security report, the peersare now saying that the public must be given more protection against cyber crime.

They also argue that victims of online crime should be able to report their problems directly to the police.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee also called for legislation which includes the proposal that banks cover customer losses incurred through e-crimes as well as making it compulsory for companies to send out notifications of security breaches.

In particular, it said that members of the public should be able to go to the police because banks may feel it is in their best interest not to make the authorities aware of a security breach.

And the committee also quoted evidence that where a PIN or password is used in an online fraud banks often refuse to refund customers.

The House of Lords made similar proposals last year, but they were ignored by the government.

The committee, which roundly condemned the Government for this, said it had "at last started to take the risks seriously".

But it expressed regret that "a level of indifference on the part of the Government has now been dispelled only as a result of recent incidents involving serious losses of personal data".