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Web users underestimate malware threat, survey says

Antony Savvas

A survey of consumers from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and McAfee shows that while users think they are protected - 93% feel safe from viruses, for instance - they are actually at risk because of outdated security software on their computer.

Nearly all consumers - 98% - who responded to the online survey agreed that keeping online security up to date is important.

To address these concerns, 87% said they used anti-virus software and 73% said they use a firewall.

In addition, 70% said they used anti-spyware software and 27% used anti-phishing software.

However, nearly half of all remotely scanned user computers in the survey (48%) had not been updated within the month.

Survey respondents also acknowledged they had been infected with malware, with 54% having been hit with a virus, and 44% thinking they were infected with spyware

Remote scans also showed that whilst 81% had a firewall installed on their computer, only 64% actually activated this protection.

Although 70% of respondents said they had anti-spyware software, only 55% percent actually did. And although 27% said they had anti-phishing protection, just 12% did.


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