Computer Crime Research Center


More risks from downloads

Date: July 11, 2006

McAfee Inc., the global leader in intrusion prevention and security risk management, today announced findings from new research which shows that Europe’s teenagers are prepared to risk their home PC security for free content. With teenagers set to spend more and more time online during the school holidays the risks to the family computer could be greater than ever.

The study of 615 teenagers aged 13-17 across six European countries (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy) found that 40% are unconcerned by the risks of viruses and other threats when downloading music or video content and over half (56%) regularly use illegal file sharing sites like Kazaa and Limewire, well known sources for malicious content.

The survey also revealed there is widespread apathy and ignorance among Europe’s teenagers which is placing their own valuable digital content such as music and photos at risk from cyber criminals.

A quarter (24%) don’t worry about internet security when they go online and a third (30%) rarely check to see if their security software is up to date. Worryingly for the rest of the family, 21% of these teenagers are entrusted with keeping the family PC secure.

Other key findings from the McAfee® Teenage Security Study include:

· While over half (56%) regularly use illegal file sharing websites such as Kazaa, only 15% actually purchase digital content from online shops such as iTunes

· 37% of European teenagers do not scan downloaded files or email attachments for viruses or other threats before opening

· Dutch teenagers are the most carefree with 52% not worried about internet security when they go online. They are also Europe’s biggest file sharers with nearly three quarters (74%) regularly downloading from illegal file sharing sites
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