Get Safe Online Week II

We're in "Get Safe Online Week":

The initiative aims to help individuals and micro-businesses to protect themselves against Internet security risks by raising awareness of the need for Internet security and providing information, advice and updates through its website

It's entirely coincidental that I've just spent an hour at the IT Forum conference, listening to Vinny Guloto, General Manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Centre. IT Forum is a gathering of over 5,000 IT Directors and service managers from all over Europe. It includes over 100 delegates from UK education establishments - mainly colleges and universities.

Anyway, back to Vinny. He presented today on the work that the centre is putting into the world of threat research, and both reactive and proactive response. Some of the numbers he used were astounding - around 1995, there were 20,000 viruses on the loose - now there are about a quarter of a million (with even more variants of core viruses). No wonder we need anti-virus software!

He mentioned some statistics in relation to Windows Defender (a piece of free software from MS which looks for things like adware and spyware, rather than specifically "malicious" software - it isn't anti-virus software). Using Windows Defender as an example, he shared some facts about intercepted threats:

  • In the first six months of 2007, it detected 50 million pieces of potentially unwanted software
    • 16 million items of Adware
    • 7 million items of "potentially unwanted software"
    • 6.5 million Trojans
    • 3 millions items of "remote control" software

To read more about the work that Vinny's team do, check out their Microsoft Malware Protection Center Portal

And if you want to help your staff and students avoid the 50 million bits of nasty software out there, let them know about Get Safe Online

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