Americans Have False Sense of Security about PC Safety
While Americans feel their home computers are safe from viruses, malware and hackers, they don't have that same confidence in their mobile devices, according to a recent study.
Eighty-seven percent of the 3,500 people surveyed report they feel safer going online with their PCs than with their phones, according to the 2010 National Cyber Security Alliance/Norton by Symantec Online Safety Study, released in October.
But even though Americans said they're confident that their home PCs are secure, less than half of them are taking the precautions necessary to stay safe online , according to the survey.
The study shows that only 24 percent of Americans feel very safe and 61 percent feel somewhat safe that their home computers are protected. However, only 18 percent of those polled feel their mobiles phones are very safe and 28 percent feel they are somewhat safe.
When it comes to mobile phones, people aren't taking the proper steps to protect themselves or their data, according to the study. Just 22.2 percent of Americans back up personal data stored on their phones even though they use those devices to store private information such as personal contacts, calendars and e-mail.
Although Americans say they feel protected on their home computers, it's a false sense of security , according to the study. In fact, 58 percent of Americans reported they had a complete security software suite installed on their PCs, but when their computers were actually scanned for it, only 37 percent were fully protected.
We're encouraged that more Americans feel safe going online from their home computers. We need to ensure that this is not a false sense of security and that a feeling of safety does not lead to complacency, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Executive Director Michael Kaiser, said in a statement.
Americans need to remain vigilant and be sure that all web-connected hardware has the proper security tools installed and is up to date. In addition, the use of sound judgment and common sense online is necessary to protect personal information and reduce the loss of important data.