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Consumers - failing to protect themselves against infection

You protect yourself from viral nasties when you go abroad, so why not when you know the Net is full of bugs?
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

While businesses have had a largely CIH-free week, consumers have not been so lucky. Tales of home users losing megabytes of data have been rife in the last few days. So why are people failing to protect themselves?

One technically-savvy user confessed to losing "loads of data" when the CIH kicked in on his home PC at midnight on Tuesday. "My machine froze so I turned it off and couldn't turn it back on again," he told ZDNet News.

He admitted that, despite working in the computer industry, he failed to have any anti-virus software running at home. "It's a matter of laziness and stupidity rather than cost," he confessed. The only positive of his encounter with CIH was an early night.

Product manager for Network Associates Jack Clark thinks only first time users should have an excuse: "My mum's just got a PC and she doesn't know how to use Word let alone know that a file might be infected," he said.

For more experienced users one anti-virus firm insider thinks people are happy to sacrifice anti-virus for entertainment. "Some users will strip down their PCs to run Quake and anti-virus software is the first thing to go," he said. Aled Miles, regional director for Symantec agreed there is a constant battle between anti-virus and entertainment when it comes to consumers buying software.

Did you fall victim to CIH?

Was it ignorance, laziness, cost or worries about slowing your system down that prevented you running an anti-virus application?

ZDNet wants to know, so talk to us at the Mailroom

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