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Tech Talk Radio Show 36 of 2009
Transmission date: September 7, 2009

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Ep 36: Microsoft plan a party and warn of critical patch Tuesday, Conroy asked to come clean with filtering, Telstra broadband outage, Skype Malware, Wordpress Malware, Nokia Netbook, ACMA acts against Web Ace.

September 7 , 2009

With cyber crooks becoming more and more sneaky, it’s probably timely that you re visit your safety measures when connected to the internet. Last week PC Tools  released the results of a worldwide survey that analyses web security. The research demonstrates that while Australians are well aware of the risks of cybercrime, the majority are exposed to new and unknown threats on social networking sites, instant messaging services and other online communication and networking tools. 

The fact that Australians have a high level of awareness about cybercrime is supported by other recent research, with a Unisys report confirming in April that Australians are more worried about computer security and identity theft than their personal safety or financial obligations, and with the ACMA finding in July that children and parents perceive contracting computer viruses as the greatest risk of online activity.

The results of this survey show that while Australians are definitely security conscious, they lack the security savvy to protect themselves online, with the majority leaving themselves wide open to cybercrime because they aren’t aware of how the latest threats operate and don’t have the right security software.

A key finding of the PC tools report revealed that despite the known risks, research revealed that Australians were not actively protecting themselves online

* Only 16% of respondents reported having comprehensive protection against viruses, spyware and other malware (i.e. they used a Security Suite or a combination of point solutions such as AntiVirus, AntiSpyware and AntiSpam) and an alarming 25% of respondents didn’t know what type of security software they had installed.

* Only 2% of respondents were aware that the best way of protecting against new and unknown threats is to use Behavioural Protection.

* 31% use the same password across all websites.

* 35% of respondents did not update their security software regularly, with 16% doing it ³rarely² and 10% never updating.

* 55% of respondents ignore alerts from their security software.

The research also revealed that Australians have a low level of awareness of key methods of infection online.

* Only 51% of respondents were aware that they could by infected by Malware through an Instant Message and only 61% were aware that they could be infected through Social Networking.

* 45% of respondents open attachments or links sent from a friend or contact straight away, without checking them for legitimacy.

* 15% of respondents thought that if they only visited legitimate websites they could ensure their safety online

Keeping ahead of the baddies is hard enough, but making sure you have the right software to do the job is easy. Don’t let complacency bite you on the bum. So when it’s all said and done, how safe are you in today’s online world?

Also on the show this week:

  • Microsoft warns of a critical patch Tuesday
  • Identity thieves are using an SMS-based lottery scam to target Australian consumers
  • Adam takes a look at Nokia’s new Booklet 3G netbook, or is that laptop and
  • Skype responds to Trojan security threat