"Unfortunately, there are still many consumers who remain vulnerable to threats like spyware, phishing, hackers and risk websites that can infect their computers with a wide range of malicious software," Todd Gebhart, senior vice president and general manager of McAfee's Consumer, Mobile and Small Business division, said in a news release.
While the study showed encouraging signs – 87 percent of consumers use anti-virus software – only 27 percent use anti-phishing solutions. Meanwhile, one in four respondents had never heard of phishing and 46 percent could not define it.
Perhaps even more troubling is that some consumers do not know what protection is running on their machines. The study showed that 70 percent of respondents claimed they were running anti-spyware software, but only 55 percent actually were. Twenty-seven percent said they had deployed anti-phishing protection, but just 12 percent had.
The National Cyber Security Alliance has planned a full month of activities across the country to celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual campaign to educate consumer and business end-users on ways to secure their systems.
Tonight, the Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security is partnering with the Federal Trade Commission to host the National Cyber Security Awareness Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
A list of events for the month can be found here.