Cybersecurity and you: five tips every consumer should know

Thursday, 22 May 2003, 11:15 AM EST

It's no accident that the Bush administration's cybersecurity plan begins with an appeal to home users and small businesses, arguably the least computer security-conscious group of Internet users.

"Home users are more likely to have a level of vulnerability they aren't aware of," said Mark Uncapher, senior vice president and counsel for the Information Technology Association of America.

None of the recommendations for home users and small businesses are new: They have been prescribed for years as the most effective medicine against malicious hackers. Yet they are prominent because Internet users continue to ignore them at a high cost to themselves and other Internet users.

"Individual consumers fail to understand that by not exercising good and safe practices on their computers they are potentially causing themselves to be a pawn in a larger cyberattack against other users or against one of our critical infrastructures," said Tatiana Gau, senior vice president of Integrity Assurance at America Online.

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