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

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.

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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, Malware, Australia

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

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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4 comments
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  • Id bet the 52% that think their mobile device is protected are wrong

    A good chunk probably have one of the bogus android antimalware programs that doesn't protect them at all. More likely 52% of them are already infected.
    Johnny Vegas
    • ZDNet is affected by malware

      Johnny Vegas spambot
      timothyja
  • I am one of the 10 percent

    who does not have protective software, because my operating system protects me. And for malware, the browser I use protects me.
    frank0-3f91e
    • Well done.

      You've just demonstrated the ignorance that propagates malware. There is no super-secure operating system/Internet browser combination that has no exploitable weaknesses. If you patch your software, then you are covering up exploits within that software (that is what patches are designed to do). But while you are connected to the Internet, you are opening ports to your system that allows outside access. How "open" it is, depends on how well patched and protected your system is.

      Even Macs and Linux systems are vulnerable. Not on the scale as Windows systems, certainly, but vulnerable nonetheless. For example, here is a listing of the last three months of vulnerabilities on Linux systems:

      http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search-results?query=Linux&search_type=last3months&cves=on

      Just some food for thought.
      dmh_paul