PC users underestimate malware threat

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Ordinary PC users do not take computer security seriously enough and are not prepared to pay for it, a BT chief has said.

Andrew Burke, chief executive of BT Entertainment, told Reuters at a broadband conference in Montpellier, France, that consumers are reluctant to pay for better security.

"Most consumers believe that the threat is less than it is and the protection they have is better than it is," said Burke. "They (consumers) need to have the best protection and getting them to pay for it can be difficult."

He said one of the major problems that the telco had was "protecting the home from malicious software that comes in and eventually takes over your devices."

Burke said that just buying security products such as personal firewall and anti-virus applications from ISPs may not be enough to stem the tide of malware.

Other experts said that ISPs have avoided taking responsibility for tackling malware. And this has been compounded by many users believing that ISPs protected them from threats.

"As technology gets more advanced, so should the protection on our connected PCs, but ISPs have been more than happy to dodge their responsibilities - blissfully ignoring the duty to protect their customers from security threats and inappropriate content," said Jamie Cowper, senior technology consultant and secure messaging expert at Mirapoint.

Cowper said that while users need to be educated in the ways of safe computing, ISPs "must also be told that they can no longer continue to throw their customers to the lions by selling unprotected services."

www.mirapoint.com

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