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Beware Christmas PCs Bearing Unwelcome Gifts – Sophos Urges Caution During The Holiday Season

  • 12 December, 2003 08:28

<p>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
12 December 2003.</p>
<p>Sophos, a world leader in anti-virus and anti-spam protection for businesses, is today warning computer users to exercise caution when setting up new PCs or laptops they receive for Christmas.</p>
<p>Many PCs available through retail stores come with software which was produced many months before, so their security patches are out of date.</p>
<p>Similarly anti-virus software, often bundled with a home computer, is unlikely to provide out-of-the-box protection for recent viruses. With more than 700 new viruses identified in November alone, protection that is just a couple of months old could seriously compromise computer security.</p>
<p>"The latest PC or snazzy laptop will be at the top of many people's Christmas list this year," said Sean Richmond, Sophos’s Technical Support Manager for Australia and New Zealand. "There's an assumption that a computer straight off the shelf will be ready to go, but I've seen people having to download a staggering 38MB of security patches onto a brand-new PC, that can take from dusk 'til dawn via a modem.</p>
<p>“The first job after unwrapping a PC should be to make sure that the system is properly protected – applying appropriate patches to the operating system, installing a personal firewall and updating anti-virus software – or users could get more than they bargained for. A computer virus would be a very unwelcome Christmas present."</p>
<p>Sophos also advises computer users not to let their guard down over the festive period.</p>
<p>"Opening joke programs, screensavers and electronic greetings cards increases the risk of virus infection at any time but can prove to be a particular problem during the holiday season when it is all too easy to let your guard slip and leave yourself open to attack. Safe computing is a must all year round," Richmond said.</p>
<p>Information on practising safe computing is available on the Sophos website at:
www.sophos.com/safecomputing.</p>
<p>Information for home users on keeping the Microsoft operating system up-to-date is available from its website:
www.microsoft.com/security/protect/.</p>
<p>Notes for Editors.</p>
<p>About Sophos.
Sophos is a world leading specialist developer of anti-virus and anti-spam software. Sophos is headquartered in the UK and protects all types of organisations, including small- to medium-sized businesses, large corporations, banks, governments and educational institutions against viruses and spam. The company is acclaimed for delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction and protection in the industry. Sophos's products, backed by 24 hour support are sold and supported in more than 150 countries.</p>
<p>Sophos's regional head office for Australia and New Zealand is in Sydney and hosts one of the company's three Computer Virus Research and Development Laboratories to provide global support services.</p>
<p>http://www.sophos.com.au.</p>
<p>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Sean Richmond (sean.richmond@sophos.com) is available for comment:
+61 2 9409 9161 (tel)
+61 2 9409 9191 (fax)</p>
<p>Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (sophos@gne.com.au)
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mobile)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

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