Drake Hardware & Software
IT Consulting

Users Clueless About Malware,
Carless About Security Measures: Survey

Windows 8 logo A pair of surveys focusing on end-users found some worrying patterns and misconceptions about Internet safety and poor security practices. According to G Data Software’s global survey released in June, users are unrealistic about malware threats. More than 40 percent of the respondents believe that visiting adult sites is a more dangerous risk than visiting a “hobby site”. However, “hobby sites” can be easier to attack because of the illusion of safety, according to G Data.

Nearly all US-based respondents said they would be aware if their computer was under attack due to the performance of the computer. However, modern malware is stealthy and can exist on a computer for extended period of time. This enables a criminal to steal information over a long period thus achieving long term benefits from the theft versus an acute attack.

More than half of the US based respondents regularly click on social networking sites and approximately 19 percent will click links regardless of its origination. These users are especially “easy marks” for cyber criminal according to researchers.

Nearly 88 percent of US respondents report using security software with half relying on free versions. 82 percent believe free software is as safe as purchased software. A separate study by GFI Software reports that users are not protecting their home computers. 65 percent of parents said at least one home computer has been infected by malware. Many of these users have either had “somewhat” or “very” serious problems. And more than half have been infected more than once.

Three quarters of the parents surveyed were working parents and were questioned about their online practices as it related to work. Many parents are issued computers for work and use them at home. 90 percent said they used the work computer for non-work-related purposes and about a third let other family members utilize the computer for personal use. Similar to the G Data survey, most users have antivirus software, however may not be using it correctly. Only 28 percent of the parents were updating the definition files daily and 24 percent were unsure if the definition updating was being done.

For more information on mal-ware threats to your PC, contact Drake Hardware & Software at 319-752-1155.