Tag Archives: virtual world

Is Your Internet Neighborhood Overly Risky?

image In the real world, the neighborhood in which you live can have some impact on the chances of you been victimized by a crime. In the virtual world, the same principal is in operation – if we can, for the sake of discussion, call the country in which you live your “neighborhood”.

In a recent study (released August 26), by AVG, attack data from 100 million PCs in 144 countries during the last week of July, 2010, was analyzed. From the data, AVG was able to develop a security threat risk factor assessment based on the country in which a user resides.

I was not surprised to see Japan proved to be the safest Internet neighborhood. Nor was I surprised to see that North America (all three countries taken together), is the riskiest, with a user facing a 1 in 51 daily chance of being attacked. Europe, on the other hand, is somewhat safer, with a user facing a 1 in 72 daily chance of being attacked.

Selected survey results:

Turkey leads the league table for risky surfing, with AVG’s software having to step in to protect on average, one in 10 users of the Internet. Web users in Russia (1 in 14 were hit), Armenia (1 in 24), and Azerbaijan (1 in 39) also suffer high rates of attacks

Other areas where Web surfers are disproportionately at risk include Bangladesh (1 in 41), Pakistan (1 in 48) and in Vietnam and Laos in Southeast Asia, where the chances of facing an attack are both one in 42.

What about other major Western countries? The United States ranks number nine when it comes to the riskiest places to surf the Web (1 in 48), the United Kingdom ranks 31st (1 in 63), Australia comes in 37th (1 in 75) while Germany comes in at number 41 (1 in 83).

Leone had the fewest attacks with, on average, one in 692 Web surfers facing an attack. Niger also fared well, with just one in 442 Web surfers on average experiencing an attack. It is important to note however that these countries have a low level of internet access, with low broadband penetration.

It is because of its high internet use and broadband penetration that Japan, where there is an average of just one in 404 facing an attack, is arguably the safest place to surf the net.

Meanwhile Taiwan (1 in 248 attacked), Argentina (1 in 241 attacked), and France (1 in 224 attacked) all came in the top 20 safe list.

It’s important to remember that this survey, like all such surveys, is a one time snapshot. Internet threats are not static. Threats, in both the number and complexity, can fluctuate wildly.

A common sense tip worth repeating:

Be proactive when it comes to your computer and your connected device’s security; part of that is making sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances you will fall victim to cyber crime.

Recommended reading: Principles of Security: Keeping it Simple – by guest writer Mark Schneider, and – An Anti-malware Test – Common Sense Wins.

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