Gobbledegeek stumps the common man

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Millions of computer users are baffled by incomprehensible jargon used to define online risks, a new report claims.

Do you speak geek?, commissioned by AOL, argues that 84 percent of users do not understand the term 'phishing' and that they are more vulnerable to attack as a result.

But some industry experts refute the claim.

"It's true there is a tendency within the industry to come up with whiz-bang terminology," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus company Sophos. "But I don't think it really matters to the home user. All the home user needs to know is that there is a problem and a way to fix it. I'd only be worried if IT admins were confused by the words we use."

In contrast AOL claim that the confusing array of words such as 'trojan', 'pharming' and 'worm', confuse users and increase the likeliness of a security compromise.

"Some of the terms being bandied around are more suitable for a computer programmers convention than for people who want to go online at home," said Will Smith safety and security expert at AOL. " If Internet users can't understand the language used to describe these risks, they are going to find it hard to protect themselves from being ripped off."

The news comes in the midst of reports suggesting phishing and pharming are on the rise. Reports that, according to the survey, will mean nothing to a home user.

www.sophos.com
www.aol.com

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