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F-Secure – Internet users Lack Sufficient Knowledge of Online Risks

Security company F-Secure, which published its annual Internet security study, indicated that 92% of worldwide participants said they had anti-malware application on their PCs. Still 67% of the survey participants acknowledged that further security applications were necessary to protect their computers. Moreover, nearly 90% knew that visits to malevolent sites could result in insidious infections on their systems.

The study further disclosed that the survey's respondents knew the basics of online threats and how their machines could be infected by malicious software. Yet, they were found unsure of the security of their fundamental online operations. Many of them said they depended on their anti-malware software for Internet safety, and accessed only secure websites for safe online banking or shopping.

Moreover, around 20% of respondents understood that their own online behavior was significant for personal online safety. Respondents who were most cognizant of this belonged to countries like Germany and Hong Kong. In contrast, respondents in the United Kingdom potentially paid the least attention to personal online practices.

The study's outcome also indicated that a number of respondents were not sure if their e-mail system was free of malicious software or other threats. Further, only 21% knew the importance of frequently updating their antivirus software.

However, F-Secure said that there was a gradual increase in users' knowledge of online threats nowadays. With the Conficker worm rapidly multiplying and becoming widespread across corporate networks during January 2009 and the extensive exploitation of the Internet Explorer flaw during December 2008, users realized the need to update their software with the most recent updates and patches.

Meanwhile F-Secure has predicted there would be excessive deployment of malicious programs throughout 2009. According to it, Net users would find more attacks against organizations, with more data breaches in the coming days.

Finally, the company says, with large number of computers are continuously infected, it is clear that people are not always cognizant of how their antivirus software works. It could be that the application they have deployed is free and needs to be manually updated rather than a paid service that gets updated of its own, the company explains.

Related article: F-Secure Alerts against Bogus Windows Update Sites

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