Monday, October 25, 2004

Spyware epidemic?

Do computer users have a reasonable expectation of privacy against programs implanted on their own computer which transmit data from their computer?


80% of infected PC users unaware – study


A study of home PCs released October 25 found that about 80% had been infected with spyware unbeknown to their users, reports.

The study of 329 home PCs was funded by America Online (AOL) and the US National Cyber Security Alliance. According to AOL chief trust officer Tatiana Gau, users were mostly unprotected from online threats and largely ignorant to the dangers.

"No consumer would walk down the street waving a stack of cash or leave their wallet sitting in a public place, but far too many are doing the exact same thing online. Without basic protections like anti-virus (AV) and firewall software, consumers are leaving their personal and financial information at risk."

Among the other alarming discoveries, nearly three in five users do not know the difference between a firewall and AV software, and two-thirds of users do not have a firewall installed on their computer.

While 85% of PC owners had installed AV software, two-thirds had not updated the software in the last week, and only 20% of users had an active anti-virus on their machines.


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