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Half of internet users not adequately protected

Media Release
Wednesday 29 October

Half of internet users not adequately protected against online viruses

Recent findings show that only 51% of internet users have current up-to-date internet security on their computers, and only 55% have anti-spyware software installed. Statistics like this have prompted Telecom to offer a free security package.

All home broadband customers get a free McAfee security package from Telecom, the first ISP in New Zealand to offer this free service.

“We are encouraging New Zealanders to get protected online by offering a free security package to our customers. We want everyone to feel safe while online so they can enjoy and make the most of the internet experience” says Ralph Brayham, Telecom GM of Broadband.

Leading computer security provider and Telecom security partner, McAfee, has identified well over 1.1 million online threats so far this year alone. They also estimated a 10 fold increase in new malware identified daily over 2008. Malware is the software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s consent.

“Online security threats are growing and becoming increasingly nasty. Attacks are even becoming more specific to countries, languages and companies, as opposed to the blanket attacks seen previously,” says McAfee’s Monica Kelly, Director, Consumer and Small Business - Asia Pacific.

As well as having up-to-date and comprehensive computer security, there are some simple, extra precautions people can take to keep safe online, says Ms Kelly.

“Back-up your computers weekly to avoid losing important documents and photos, never respond to, or act on requests in emails asking for confidential information, or giving you a link to a website to give this information, and always make and use strong passwords by avoiding dictionary words, names and dates.”

The free McAfee security package offered to Telecom residential broadband customers is valued at $95.40 per year, and helps guard customers’ home computers against online risks such as viruses, spyware and hackers. The package includes a firewall, anti-virus scanner and identity protection, as well as parental tools to help protect children from harmful content.

Quick facts about malware and security

o According to a recent US study, it was estimated that consumers in the US have lost almost US$8.5 billion and replaced about 2.1 million computers because of viruses, spyware and email scams since 2007. (Source: State of the Net 2008,
o According to McAfee, hackers are attacking computers with internet access every 23 seconds and the chance of being a cyber victim is one in four.
o In a recent World Internet Project New Zealand (WIP NZ) study, 41% of New Zealanders have received a virus on their computer. The same study found that 61% of respondents occasionally buy things on the internet, 23% pay bills online and 53% use their bank’s online service.


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