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GFI® Software 2011 Parent-Teen Internet Safety Study

Although 76% of parents and 77% of teens say they are either “very” or “somewhat” confident they won’t be infected by viruses, a large percentage are being infected. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the parents surveyed say their home computer has been infected by a virus. In fact, 55% of these parents say they have not only been infected by a computer virus, but that it has happened more than once. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those that have been infected rate the problem that resulted as “somewhat” or “very” serious.

47% of teens say they have been infected by a virus on a computer they were using at home. Corporate IT departments have reason to be concerned about this behaviour, because 37% of parents who bring their work home with them say they let their teens use their work computers there.

ANTIVIRUS DEFINITION UPDATES – Are parents up to date on their antivirus software
While most parents indicate they have antivirus software in place (89%), only about one quarter (28%) of these say they update their virus definition files on a daily basis. Worse yet, 24% say they don’t know if they update their virus definition files at all. Without frequently updating virus definition files, users are susceptible to new malware attacks.

PERSONAL USE – Parents putting work computers at risk
90% of parents say they use their work computers at home for personal business. Additionally, 21% of parents who work connect personal computing devices to their corporate networks, and 42% say they aren’t required to take any security measures before connecting that device to the network. Additionally, 60% of parents and 57% of teens said they use thumb drives to transfer data from one computer to another, thereby risking the transfer of any number of malicious files or viruses between machines.

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