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Home PCs Vulnerable to Online Threats

CA, Inc. released a report on September 10, 2007 highlighting that complex and increasing online threats confront home computer users. Most commonly, these are identity theft, malware exploits, online gaming risks, and software vulnerabilities.

With the increasing use of computers for family entertainment and communication, domestic users get significantly exposed. The theme, which the CA report elaborates, is particularly noteworthy since no operating system, software, or computer is completely safe from these kinds of attacks, which face unwitting users.

While using the net, every person should know about the current online threats in terms of their nature and extent of danger. Internet users like social network surfers, seniors, online gamers, teenagers and their parents should all be wary, said Sean O'Connell, security consultant, CA. TMCnet reported this on September 10, 2007. It is extremely important to instill use of safety measures for personal information among young users. They should know how to avoid cyber criminals. Elders should teach them about online protection because although they may be more expert in operating with the Internet in comparison to their parents, they are generally less serious about imbibing safe online practices.

There are several predictions outlined in the report for the coming year. CA thinks theft of online gamers' accounts would be more profitable like that of bank account thefts. This year's most prominent malware seizes gaming passwords.

Another threat that would become prevalent is 'spear-phishing', according to the report. This threat is likely to grow significantly. Based on socio-economic status or age, phishers are shifting to 'spearing' targeted individuals, the report said.

Some other threats in the year would be malware that is predicted to rise by 132% over 2006 where trojans would lead the entire bunch. Observing the trend during January-June 2007, security advisor at CA saw that trojans comprised 65% of malware, worms were 18%, viruses were 4% and other varieties of malware accounted for 13%.

The study report further discusses change in cyber crime trends where criminals would target more of low-profile software like Macromedia Flash and Adobe Reader to exploit their loopholes. They would also search for social network gaps.

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