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The dangers of broadband surfing
Majority of users not aware of risks

Washington (pte045/04.06.2003/16:15) - According to a recently published study by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) , broadband surfers are more at risk than Internet surfers with traditional phone line access. Highspeed surfers also think themselves much more secure than they are, reports the New York Times (NYT).

The study was carried out last month with 120 broadband users. The results show that the overwhelming majority - 86 per cent - have sensitive information such as health or financial data stored on their computers. Nearly a fifth use their computer to carry out financial transactions and exchange medical information. About half of the users questioned had children who used the computer.

However, only three per cent of the participants used programs to protect their children against pornography. Over 40 per cent had no firewall to protect them against attacks from the Internet. While most users had installed anti-virus software, the majority does not update it regularly. In addition to this, the state of security stood in sharp contrast to the subjective perception of the users. Up to 77 per cent believe their systems to be safe against hackers, while 86 per cent think they are protected against online attacks.

"This discrepancy shows that we have to do more to inform people," said Keith Nahigian, speaker of the NCSA and consultant for Homeland Security . Users with modem access are less at risk because they stay online for shorter periods of time. The permanent connection to the web makes it easier for hackers to gain access. Broadband users also participate in more file sharing, which can create security threats.

Submitter: pressetext.europe
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