In the past, the main threat faced by Internet users was the risk of their computer being infected with a virus. The obvious solution to this risk was to install a good anti-virus solution – and this was protection enough.
However, as the threat landscape has evolved over the years, cyber criminals are no longer merely sending out viruses, but instead seek opportunities to steal users' information and compromise their computers. A simple anti-virus solution is no longer adequate.
Cyber criminals have developed a variety of sophisticated software that looks for vulnerabilities within a PC and hones in on information, and if Internet users do not have sufficient protection, they could easily find themselves victim to cybercrime, with often disastrous consequences.
According to Fred Mitchell, Symantec business unit manager at Drive Control Corporation (DCC), the main threats faced by Internet users today are phishing, identity theft, and the risk of their computer being taken over as part of a botnet.
"There is a perception among many Internet users that these types of scams will never happen to them and that it is something that only businesses need to protect themselves against. However, cyber criminals are targeting home users and businesses indiscriminately. It is for this reason that consumers must build an arsenal of solutions that protect them against these ever-more common attacks.
"To defend oneself against cyber crime, it is important to understand the reason why it is so prevalent. Cyber crime is one of the most profitable industries today and its' pervasive tactics are continually adapted according to the behavior of Internet users. These crimes, which are by no means new, continue to be a lucrative trade globally."
Yugen Naidoo, retail manager at DCC, comments:"It's unfortunate that there is normally a sizeable lag between when users are first put at risk and when awareness encourages them to purchase the right protection. Most users are now conscious of the fact that anti-virus software is vital – the result of rising consumer awareness over the last few years. However, this is no longer enough, as they now face a whole new range of risks, and this isn't matched by sufficient understanding of what's now essential in their security arsenal – such as Internet Security; Backup; Anti-Spam; Anti-Spyware; and Anti-Phishing."