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Who guides the little guy? Exploring security advice and guidance from retailers and ISPs
Furnell SM, Shams R, Phippen AD
Computer Fraud & Security, Volume 2008, Issue 12, December, pp6-10 , 2008
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There are plenty of threats out there to hurt the little guys – home users and small businesses who must typically fend for themselves in terms of buying and setting up their systems. Widely cited findings from Symantec suggest that as much as 95% of threats now target the home user sector. This demonstrates that such users need to ensure they are adequately informed and protected. Many who purchase PCs, however, are not technically competent to protect themselves.

Although they are targeted by a range of online threats, home users are often unaware of their exposure and lack a full understanding of how they should protect themselves. They would benefit from advice and guidance at many stages, and particularly when they take the first steps to purchase a system and take it online.

With this in mind, the article considers the role that PC retailers and internet service providers (ISPs) can play in promoting security to customers and the extent to which they currently do so. The discussion includes a practical assessment of the situation, based upon 28 responses from advisors in high street stores and 18 calls to ISPs. The findings reveal that while security-related queries are likely to be received in both contexts there are clear shortcomings in the level and accuracy of guidance that customers are likely to receive.

Furnell SM, Shams R, Phippen AD