10 per cent of Australians don’t use security software: ACMA

Almost half of respondents did not believe they would be a victim of a malware attack

A new report into malware by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that 10 per cent of Australians who access the Internet at home don’t use any security software.

The report, <i>Malware and harmful software—Consumer views on software threats and use of protections</i>, was based on a phone survey conducted with 1500 Australians and four focus group discussions.

It also found that 8 per cent of Australians do not regularly update their security software while almost half of those surveyed did not believe they would be a victim of a malware attack.

ACMA deputy chairman Richard Bean said the results were “alarming” and Australians Internet users needed to be more vigilant about protecting their PCs, tablets and mobile devices.

“Malware is a real threat. It allows others to steal your personal identity information including login details for Internet services such as online banking. Malware can also be used to get access to almost any content on your devices including online browsing history.”

According to Bean, 35,000 infected Australian IP addresses are reported every day through its Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) program.

Many of these IP addresses are infected with software such as the Zeus Trojan which is designed to capture login details for online banking.

Eighty -eight per cent of survey respondents use the Internet for online financial transactions.

Bean advised consumers to install security software and update it regularly, turn on automatic updates and set strong passwords.

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Tags malwaresecurity risksAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

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