Nearly half of all adult Australians who use the internet for personal purposes - more than seven million people - do not believe they will be a victim of malicious software (malware), Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) research has shown.
in internet use
The research also found that 10 per cent of Australians who accessed the internet on home-based computers or laptops - equivalent to nearly 1.5 million people - do not have any protective software, while another 8 per cent don’t regularly update their software.
Deputy Chairman of ACMA and Cyber Security Spokesman, Richard Bean described the results of the research as alarming.
“Australian internet users need to be more vigilant in protecting their computing devices from malware,” Mr Bean said.
“Malware is a real threat. It allows others to steal your personal identity information, including your login details for internet services like online banking. Malware can be used to get access to almost any content on your devices, including your online browsing history.”
He said that while it was difficult to accurately assess the amount of malware in circulation, the ACMA was identifying and reporting record numbers of malware infections under its Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) program.
“Around 35,500 infected Australian IP addresses are currently being reported each day through the AISI. Many are infected with software such as the Zeus Trojan designed specifically to capture login details for online banking,” Mr Bean said, pointing out that some 88 per cent of Australian internet users surveyed use the internet for online financial transactions.
He said there were three key things that internet users should do to secure their computer and help protect themselves from malware.
“They should install security software and update it regularly; turn on automatic updates so the software receives the latest fixes, and set strong passwords.”
The full report can be found at www.acma.gov.au and more advice can be found at www.staysmartonline.gov.au.
Edition 382, 8 October 2013