94 Pct of Adults Say Net a Threat to Kids

A survey conducted to security software-marker Zone Labs by Harris Interactive finds that 94 percent of U.S. adult Internet users feel the Internet poses a threat to children. Among survey respondents, 61 percent cited adults preying upon children in online chat rooms as the biggest threat, with 16 percent citing online pornography as a threat.

Not surprisingly considering who commissioned the survey, respondents were also asked about online security. The Harris survey found that only 50 percent had installed a software firewall, and only 23 percent had installed a full internet security suite to protect their computer and personal data. Among respondents, 78 percent said they did not feel safer online than they did a year ago.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey between September 23 and 27, 2005, using a nationwide sample of 2,322 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older. Harris says the survey population was weighted to represent the broader U.S. population in terms of region, age within gender, education levels, household income, and race/ethnicity. Assuming the sample population is accurate, one can assert statistically that the survey’s results are 95 percent likely to have an error of +/- 3 percent when generalized to the broader population of U.S. adult Internet users.

Zone Labs has set up a new Web site, safe.zonelabs.com, which features a free 18-page guide (2 MB in Acrobat PDF format) for consumers on protecting a family computer. Zone Labs offers Internet security products for Windows systems, ranging from a free version its ZoneAlarm firewall to a full-blown online security suite.

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