Half of all Aussies don't think malware will affect them: ACMA

Summary:The research might seem like Aussies are overconfident, but 90 percent actually have security software installed on their PC.

The ACMA believes that almost half of all Australians don't believe they will be victims of malware.

In delivering the research (PDF) conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on about 1500 Australians, ACMA deputy chairman and cyber security spokesman Richard Bean warned of the threats posed by malware and urged for more action.

"These alarming results indicate Australian internet users need to be more vigilant in protecting their computing devices from malware," he said.

The findings show that 43 to 50 percent believe that they are unlikely to be affected by malware, 28 to 33 percent believe they are likely, and the remainder either did not know or did not have an opinion either way.

Bean urged Australians to do more to protect their computers, despite the research finding that 90 percent of respondents have protective software installed.

Mobile devices are another matter entirely. Only 52 percent of respondents said their mobile devices were protected, and of the remainder, 24 percent knew they weren't protected and another 24 percent simply didn't know.

Respondents did typically realise that the responsibility of protecting their devices was theirs, with 90 percent indicating so.

Bean said the three key things internet users should do are to install security software and update it regularly, turn on automatic updates, and use strong passwords.

Updating security software is an action performed by 82 percent of those that use protective software, and keeping operating system software updated is done by 81 percent. The survey did not examine users' password habits.

Topics: Security, Australia, Malware

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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