Consumers confused about online security

Powered by SC Magazine
 

A recent survey shows consumers are totally confused about the level of online threats and how best to protect themselves.

A recent survey shows consumers are totally confused about the level of online threats and how best to protect themselves.

The study from online shopping portal MutualPoints showed that of the 9,790 people surveyed almost all claimed to have taken steps to protect their computer and 88 per cent felt they had adequate security.

Nearly all said they had installed anti-virus software on their PCs, while 93 per cent said they had a firewall running.

Just over four fifths (85.5 per cent) claimed to have anti-spyware software installed on their computers.

Over 90 per cent of those questioned claimed to understand the meaning of virus, hacker and spyware, while over 80 per cent were aware of the terms Trojan and worm.

Because the MutualPoints findings totally contradict other surveys, including the Sophos Security Threat Management Report Update report issued yesterday, and another from StreamShield Networks about the problem of zombie PCs on home PCs, it is obvious many consumers do not understand what this security software protects them from.

MutualPoints found nearly half of consumers believed they had no anti-hacker protection. Around two thirds (64.9 per cent) said they had failed to install anti-abuse software to block unwanted and malicious email and offensive online content.

"If you look at the findings in relation to recent surveys it could well be that while consumers think they have their online security covered there could well be a real gap in terms of what they think they have running and what is actually running.

"A logical conclusion from these findings and the other surveys is the lack of understanding consumers have about their actual online security," a representative for MutualPoints told Computeractive.

Graham Clueley, senior technician for security company Sophos , agreed that the security message was obviously not getting through. He suggested because of the lower risks, home users should consider buying an Apple Mac when getting a new computer.

"The number of people in the MutualPoints survey claiming to have security software was too high. Most people don't have all this software and even those that do don't update it regularly.

"It is no good saying you have anti-virus software and then wondering why it doesn't work if it is out of date," he said.

He went on to say that the continued infection of home PCs by old viruses showed by Sophos clearly that consumers have failed to grasp the need to constantly update security software.

He admitted that the technical jargon bothered and bewildered the average consumer.

This could account for the fact that the MutualPoints survey showed that over a third of UK consumers still don't understand the term phishing; currently the most prolific kinds of internet fraud.

"Without a doubt there is a buzzword jungle out there making it difficult for the average home PC user to understand what is going on because of all the jargon," said Clueley.

"The consumers aren't listening to us [the security industry]. Maybe the next time they buy a computer they should consider buying a Mac; the security threats are far lower," he said.

Criminal malware surges as virus threat fades

Copyright © 2010 Computer Active


Consumers confused about online security
 
 
 
Top Stories
Hockey flags billion-dollar Centrelink mainframe replacement
Claims 30 year-old tech is holding Govt back.
 
Ombudsman wants to monitor warrantless metadata access
Requests ability to report publicly.
 
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  12%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  23%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1515

Vote