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The Immunet Blog is maintained by the Immunet team as a forum for discussing news and issues related to AntiVirus, security and cloud technology.


Entries in social media (3)


Do Consumers think about AntiVirus?

Why is it that 50% of all Internet users either don’t have AntiVirus protection or have protection that’s expired or out of date? Between 30-40,000 (thousand!) new viruses are created each DAY, and yet a large percentage of the consumer population remains vulnerable to these threats. So what’s going on here? Perhaps people are too trusting that website security professionals such as Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, or those involved in the Facebook Security Wall will just take care of malware for them.

Consumer Reports has a good phishing test for consumers (and Donna even wrote a post about the dangers to social media, a topic near and dear to all of us at Immunet). eHow has a few good steps to follow. MSNBC offers some good advice from the AP. CNET even tried to help people avoid malware from trusted site the Drudge Report.

We think more people don’t have AntiVirus due to combination of price, effectiveness (or lack thereof), resource and system drain and software conflicts that afflict traditional AntiVirus software. To be fair, without the collective benefit of a cloud-based community that can help to detect, update and defend each other against thousands of new threats daily, it takes copious resources in terms of human and technology costs (which are passed along to the consumer) for a traditional AntiVirus provider to do all the work themselves.

With Immunet Protect’s Collective Immunity, we’ve solved this problem and torn down the barriers standing in the way of increasing consumer AntiVirus penetration from 50% to closer to 100%.  The closer we are as an industry to 100% antivirus penetration, the safer the Internet becomes for everyone online.


What to do When Advice Falls Short? 

We put a focus on educating people on how to avoid getting a virus, from the basics to black SEO to social media aggregators to Facebook-specific worms to how to’s.

It seems attackers have the means to overcome today’s ‘AntiVirus common sense’ we’ve all grown to embrace, namely, only click on links from trusted sources. Now these sources can no longer be trusted.

Case in point is the new spear phishing threat targeted at social networking. Core Security Labs demonstrated this at the RSA Conference last week and lots of people have followed up on the problem. What to do?

While common sense is still very important, getting a real-time AntiVirus that recognizes a threat instantly is just as vital. Viruses take time to spread and the longer one goes undetected, the more dangerous it gets. Immunet Protect’s Collective Immunity solves this problem by detecting a virus from the community and instantly protecting all users against that virus.  


Are Social Media Portals Creating a False Sense of Security? 

The core theme for viruses is trickery. Fool a person into clicking on a link they think is accessing something they want and the infection spreads (Twitter viruses, Facebook viruses, etc). Viruses spread really fast with this approach – look at the recent Gmail worm the New York Times wrote about. Social media has proved to be a hotbed for this deception and people are getting wise to it. That’s good.

What’s bad? Aggregating all your social media ‘stuff’ in one location, like the recent Microsoft Outlook 2010 Social Connector, Meebo and Snaptu (for phones). As a consumer, surfing Twitter, Facebook and the rest comes with a known risk – watch out for links. Do such ‘street-smarts’ erode if all your activity is accessible from a trusted application, such as Outlook or another? The links are still suspect but our keen eye might dim a bit.

Real-time antivirus protection becomes even more important with the adoption of these social media portals. Yet another reason that Immunet Protect’s “Collective Immunity” against viruses deserves a look as a means to protect you and your community. Once a virus is detected, all users are instantly protected against that virus, rather than having to wait days to update software.

Think about that for a minute. If you have 200 Facebook friends, 1,000 Twitter followers and share files with 50 people and any one of them gets a virus, Immunet Protect kicks in and everyone is instantly protected – you’re all safe! Now, look at this example with traditional, clunky antivirus applications, where there may be 15 different programs running across your 1,250 connections. It might take days to update each program’s database. How many times will you interact, click on and forward links and files among the group in a few days, potentially infecting thousands of your friends and followers!? Scary, right!