Computer Crime Research Center


Americans Confused as Ever over Cyber-security

Date: October 03, 2008
Source: eWEEK

You can lead users to security but that doesn't mean they'll use it or even know whether they have it. In the annual kickoff campaign for cyber-security awareness, Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance say a large number of Americans still fail to use basic Internet security tools, and there remains a substantial gap between the protections people think they have and what is actually installed on their computers.

WASHINGTON—Most American computer users are aware of the dangers of cruising the Internet with the security windows down and they are taking precautions, or at least think they are. The numbers, though, say otherwise.

For instance, according to a study released Oct. 2, more than 80 percent of American computer users polled claimed to have a firewall installed on their systems, but, in fact, only 42 percent had adequate firewall protection. The study, conducted by the NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) and Symantec, combined polling and computer checkups performed by Symantec's PC Help by Norton.

"We must redouble our efforts to ensure that Americans know how to use all of the tools necessary to protect their computers, themselves and their families from harm," NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser said at a National Press Club morning conference. "Too often, cyber-security has been made to seem complicated and inaccessible. Staying safe online appears daunting for users."

The NCSA-Symantec study was released to coincide with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual education and public awareness campaign focusing on cyber-security. The effort enjoys the support of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), Symantec, McAfee, Cisco Systems and Microsoft.

Despite the gloomy consumer firewall news, Kaiser insisted "great strides" are being made to convince American users to better secure their computers, pointing to the fact that the NCSA-Symantec study shows that users' perceptions closely matched reality when it came to anti-spyware software. Spyware and spam protection were early focuses of a four-year cyber-security awareness campaign.
Original article

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo