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Beware of scareware stories: report

posted 6 Jan 2011, 09:37 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jan 2011, 09:39 ]
An investigation by the consumer advocacy publication Which? Computing finds that perceptions of online security risks may be out of step with the reality.
UK-COMPUTER SECURITY  (Jan 06, 20110) - Internet scare stories - they are as alarming as they are plentiful. New research by the UK consumer advocacy publication Which Computing finds that concern over computer security runs very high in Britain.

Matt Bath is a correspondent for Which Computing and oversaw the latest research into online threats.

Matt Bath, Which? Computing spokesman saying:

"We surveyed members of the general public and we found out that lots of people are concerned about online security, so much so that it stops them doing online banking and online shopping. We decided to put this to the test and see secure PCs really are. We put five computers on the internet and we saw how many viruses they picked up in a four-week period. The result? None at all."

However Bath cautions that is not the same as saying online security should not be a concern.

Matt Bath, Which? Computing spokesman saying:

"You have to be aware that there are lots of online scams and lots of online security threats, but what we found is that if you're computer is safe and secure and if you stick to trusted websites and trusted brands, you're really unlikely to encounter any kinds of problems. It's only when you wander off the beaten track and start going to sites that are hosting illegal files for example that you're then going to be exposed to lots of internet security risks."

The new issue of Which also states that it's a myth that people must pay for anti-virus software, arguing that free alternatives provide adequate protection.

Matt Cowan, Reuters