As April 1 passed without any major cybersecurity incidents related to the high profile Conficker worm, McAfee reminds computer users to continue to take PC security seriously.
"Conficker was a serious wake up call for PC users, but the truth is that far more dangerous threats lurk online every day," says Barry McPherson, senior vice-president: worldwide support at McAfee. "It is important that computer users don't get complacent. They should keep their PCs secured by applying security patches and running up-to-date security software that should, at a minimum, include antimalware and a two-way firewall."
There had been growing concern among the public and the media about a threat that could have been unleashed on April 1. The broad attention given to the worm moved PC users to seek out security vendors for advice. In the days leading up to 1 April , McAfee's Web site visits spiked 50% and support calls jumped 40%.
Though 1 April passed without incident, Conficker and many other threats make the rounds on the Internet every day. In fact, McAfee Avert Labs identified a record 1,6-million pieces of malware in 2008, a 450% increase over the prior year. We now identify an average of 5 500 new pieces of malware every day.
McAfee recommends two basic actions that will ensure a Windows computer is protected:
* Install Microsoft's regular security updates; and
* Run up-to-date security software with a firewall and malware protection to fend off malicious programs such as viruses, Trojans and spyware.