EDGE 2020 Goes Virtual
<p>AUSTRALIA, Sydney – March 21, 2007 – Information security specialist Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is warning home users throughout Australia and New Zealand to protect their personal computers and identities while using the Internet.</p>
<p>This warning co-incides with a call by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) for people to protect their identities and computers from a rising tide of Internet-borne threats.</p>
<p>As the taskforce rolls out a number of initiatives throughout Australia and New Zealand in its 2007 program called Scams Target You – Protect Yourself, the month of March sees the ACFT promoting Protect Your PC Week (starting March 19) and Protect Your Identity Week (starting March 26).</p>
<p>The Taskforce program, co-ordinated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, underscores research findings that many home PC uses are increasingly concerned about identity theft, and the loss of precious digital images, music files and other work.</p>
<p>Symantec, a partner in taskforce activities, says these users want to spend more time enjoying the Internet and less time having to interact with their protection software.</p>
<p>According to Symantec, more than a third of home PC users still aren’t protected adequately while using the Internet, and aren’t securely backing up irreplaceable files.</p>
<p>David Freer, Symantec’s Asia Pacific/Japan senior director of Consumer Products, says, “Our 2006 survey of almost 29,000 Australian and New Zealand home PC users found that while 50 per cent of home users considered the Internet fundamental to their daily lives, 80 per cent remained unaware of online threats.”</p>
<p>The survey, conducted for last year’s national eSecurity Awareness Week, also found that while more than 60 per cent of these users divulge personal information each month while using online services, more than half don’t like doing it.</p>
<p>According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report (issued on March 20), home Internet users around the world make up the most highly targeted sector, accounting for 93 per cent of all targeted attacks.</p>
<p>Yet fewer than 15 per cent of those users, whom the company surveyed in 2006, were confident they could recognise a fraudulent Website, and almost half said they committed passwords to memory. Only about 3 per cent used password software.</p>
<p>To minimise this online danger, Symantec suggests home PC users look for protection that:</p>
<p>* Automatically defends against a range of threats
* Safeguards against identity theft
* Protects precious files – such as images and music files – from being lost
* Fine tunes PCs for optimum performance
* Protects again a full range of latest online threats
* Provides technical support including telephone or around-the-clock email and online chat support</p>
<p>Symantec also recommends to:</p>
<p>* Keep your protection software up-to-date: make sure you install security software that protects your computer from viruses and other malicious programs.
* Be aware of unexpected "pop-up" boxes on your computer. Following the links may install malicious software on your computer, so make sure your security software is always updated. Turning on the auto-update function makes this easy.
* Exercise caution when sharing your personal information. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails - delete them. Never click on links in unsolicited emails.
* Create regular back-ups of your personal data. It’s relatively easy to reinstall software on a PC, but impossible to recreate precious family photos, diaries, address books, financial files, assignments and other documents without a recent back-up.
* Use long and random passwords that are not easy to guess. They should include letters, numbers and symbols where possible. Keep your passwords to yourself to ensure they remain secure.
* Avoid using computers in public places such as libraries and internet cafes, to do your banking and other financial transactions. You can't be sure if they have security software and if it is up-to-date, so your personal information may be at risk.</p>
<p>“The bottom line is most people want to spend time engaged in everyday computing activities, not interacting with their protection software. Also, most people don’t know the technical difference between a virus, worm, rootkit, spyware or phishing attack – nor do they want to,” Mr Freer says.</p>
<p>“Most of us want to work, research and play online without worrying about potential threats, and we’re looking for automatic protection and backup.”</p>
<p>Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in 40 countries, including Australia. More information is available at www.symantec.com.</p>
<p>Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p>About Norton 360</p>
<p>Launched in March, Symantec’s new Norton 360 delivers comprehensive, automated protection from identity theft, hackers, spyware, and other online threats. It also helps keep PCs tuned for peak performance and automatically backs up important files. Home PC users can download Norton 360 from www.symantecstore.com/au or can purchase Norton 360 from computer software retailers throughout Australia and New Zealand. (RRP $129.95)</p>
<p>About the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report</p>
<p>The semiannual Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) Volume XI covers the six-month period from July 1, 2006, through December 31, 2006. It is based on Symantec data collected from more than 40,000 sensors deployed in more than 180 countries in addition to a database that covers more than 20,000 vulnerabilities affecting more than 30,000 technologies from more than 4,000 vendors. Symantec also reviews more than 2 million decoy accounts that attract e-mail messages from 20 different countries around the world allowing Symantec to gauge global spam and phishing activity. To provide enhanced insight into the evolving threat landscape, this volume of the report includes several new metrics, such as the window of exposure for Web browsers and the proportion of previously unseen malicious code. The full Internet Security Threat Report includes additional statistics and detail and is available for download at www.symantec.com/threatreport/ . Broadcast media can download multimedia at www.thenewsmarket.com/symantec .</p>
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<p>NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information on Symantec Corporation, its products and services, hi-res imagery or to arrange an interview please contact Natalie Connor on the below details.</p>
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