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Malware infections “staying the same” say security experts

malwareA new survey of computer security professionals has revealed that the amount of malware threats reaching users has stayed the same over the past year, and that users are more likely to be infected by surfing the internet than downloading attachments to emails.

The survey questioned computer experts from many businesses about the state of security on their networks. Because these technicians monitor a large number of computers, used by a large number of people, their opinions can be a good indicator of the state of the wider internet.

So what did they think about malware, the web and email?

Malware – getting better?

According to the research, conducted by Trustwave, 54% of industry insiders believe that the amount of malware infecting users has stayed the same. On the plus side, 31.4% say it has reduced and just 13.7% say the situation has got worse for computer users.

However, it doesn’t look like the World Wide Web is getting safer from malware threats. While 51.3% of the interviewed security experts thought that the threat web-based malware was staying the same, 30.1% claimed it was getting worse. Just 18.6% thought that browsing websites was safer that it had been.

In fact, a huge 77% of them were actively concerned about malware entering their organisation through the web. Of all of the companies contacted, 7% had experienced a web-born infection in the last year.

Email – less SPAM, less infections

With roughly 75% of all inbound emails reported as SPAM, it’s no wonder that they’re a concern to security professionals. Especially when 7% of these contain links to malicious websites. But is the situation getting better?

The insiders believe that the percentage of SPAM blocked has stayed roughly the same (63.7%), while 13.4% said that the situation was getting worse and 22.9% said that there had been an improved.

With 5% of organisations having experienced a malware infection via email in the last year, it seems that emails are marginally safer than the web for avoiding malware.

What does this mean?

While security experts might say that surfing the web is more dangerous than checking your email, it’s still not that simple. Whatever you’re doing on a computer – especially one connected to the internet – you have to be vigilant.

Remember, don’t open emails from people you don’t know, and don’t go to websites that try to make you download software you haven’t asked for.

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