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Cyber Threats Prevent Elders Go Online

Panda Security conducted a research on May 21, 2010 (a day also celebrated as Silver Surfers' Day) and found that while 27% of people aged above 55-years were scared of virus-infection on their computers, 12% feared hackers could harm their PCs.

Silver Surfers' Day is an annual event when senior citizens are encouraged to go online and surf the Web. This is accomplished through free training and related events. Meanwhile, as-many-as 9.2 Million people in the UK above 55 don't have an Internet access.

The reason why older people hesitate to go online is the insufficient safety on the Net, said the security researchers. Issues like theft of bank details and users' identities pose as the greatest scares while online, they added.

According to Sebastian Zabala (security expert at Panda Security), Internet has become very important for day-to-day activities, and older people can greatly benefit from it. They can contact family and friends through e-mail or utilize social-networking websites. They can also shop from home or obtain large and detailed specialist information by accessing the Web, Zabala explains, as reported by PCAdvisor on May 21, 2010.

While the Internet does help senior citizens greatly, it exposes them to various online threats like computer infection through malware or miscreants' lures that get them to reveal their credit card particulars.

Meanwhile, PandaLabs' research finds that during Q1-2010, the most widespread malware was Trojans, responsible for 61% of the entire new malicious programs.

Luis Corrons, Technical Director, PandaLabs, stated that the widely-prevalent trojans stealing banking information indicated that cyber criminals continued to be attracted towards online accounts as financial targets. The malware was still a highly-preferred tool among cyber criminals as it entailed the maximum part of their earnings via stolen credit card and bank details, or identity theft, as reported by Silversurfer Today on May 21, 2010.

To remain safe, PandaLabs suggested those above 55-years and concerned about their online safety to never send personal information through instant messages or e-mail, don't download anything from doubtful sources, and don't click on web-links pointed to dubious files.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

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