Webroot Software, Inc., a leading provider of Internet security software for the consumer, enterprise and SME markets today urged Internet users to deploy a best of breed Internet security solution during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) to protect against the most damaging types of malware. The company has joined with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to actively promote awareness of Internet safety and security issues during the month of October.
According to Webroot research cyber threats are on the rise. Using the Phileas® spyware research system, Webroot has discovered nearly 6.5 million websites harbor spyware; a 183 percent increase since January of this year.
"The Internet has become so integrated into our daily lives that it is easy to forget how dangerous it can be if the proper security measures aren’t taken. We see the growth of malware as a threat to consumers and companies alike. In a recent report, the Government Accounting Office found that cybercrime, in its various forms like identity theft and phishing, costs the U.S. economy some $117.5 billion a year," said Peter Watkins, CEO at Webroot. "We applaud the work of the National Cyber Security Alliance in setting October aside as National Cyber Security Awareness month. The holiday season last year saw record sales of goods and services online. It’s a good time to step back and evaluate the online security precautions we are taking both at work and at home before what is predicted to be an even bigger year for online retailers."
To help Internet users practice safe online behavior, Webroot encourages people to test their computers for infections and other cyber threats with its free computer scan. Users can visit http://www.webroot.com/ to run a complete, deep scan of their system to check their computers for spyware, viruses and other threatening forms of malware.
Webroot has developed a list of recommendations for Internet users to follow to practice safe online behavior:
- Keep your computer protected. Run updated versions of best–of–breed antispyware and antivirus software and scan your entire system at least once a week.
- Use safe surfing habits.Certain online activities put users at more risk than others, especially activities that require personal and financial information such as shopping, gaming and banking. Ensure that all websites requiring this information have the following attributes:
- The website address should begin with "https:";
- The page should display a closed padlock symbol or state that information is encrypted; and,
- Use parental control software. Do not forget the other members of your family that can put you and your computer at risk. Parental control software will help parents keep their children and their information safe.
- Protect your personal data. Never share your personal information online with strangers. According to research from the Carnegie Mellon Institute, hackers can get the personal data of 90 percent all people in North America by knowing just their sex, zip code and birth date. Always use a "bleaching" software to erase all trace of where you have been, your user IDs and passwords.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a focused effort for educating the American public, businesses, schools and government agencies about ways to secure their part of cyber space, computers and our nation's critical infrastructure. Each year, the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security joins with the NCSA and the Multi–State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to support NCSAM.
"Every October is dedicated to educating the public on measures they can take to secure their computers and information while online. This year, with the tagline of ‘Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself,’ we hope consumers and businesses will better understand the important role they play in protecting themselves in a Web 2.0 World," said Ron Teixeira, executive director, NCSA. "By using the right technology and key security practices, consumers and businesses can not only protect their computers, identities and information from cyber criminals, but also play a proactive role in helping protect the nation's critical infrastructure from man–made threats."
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY ALLIANCE
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a collaborative effort among experts in the security, non–profit, academic and government fields to teach consumers, small businesses and members of the education community about Internet security. The NCSA aims to increase awareness about the risks associated with using Internet technologies and how to help protect against them, while also providing free tips, checklists and best practices for remaining safe while online.