Nearly half of all adult Australians (or more than 7 million people) who use the internet for personal purposes do not believe they will be a victim of malware, according to research conducted by regulator ACMA.
Moreover, 10% of Australians who access the internet on home-based computers or laptops (equivalent to nearly 1.5 million people) do not have any protective software, while another 8% don't regularly update their software.
"These alarming results indicate Australian internet users need to be more vigilant in protecting their computing devices from malware,' said the ACMA's deputy chairman and cyber security spokesman,
"Malware is a real threat. It allows others to steal your personal identity information, including your login details for internet services like online banking. Malware can be used to get access to almost any content on your devices, including your online browsing history.'
Around 35,500 infected Australian IP addresses are currently being reported each day through the AISI. Many are infected with software such as the Zeus Trojan designed specifically to capture login details for online banking. 88% of Australian internet users surveyed use the internet for online financial transactions.
While it is difficult to accurately assess the amount of malware in circulation, the ACMA said it is identifying and reporting record numbers of malware infections under its vital Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) program.
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