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Trend Micro announced Jan. 2 that it has released the findings from its new research study that measures what consumers think of their Internet security.

Trend Micro, a security software provider based in Cupertino, Calif., released the Internet Confidence and Safety survey that evaluates consumers attitudes about Internet-related concerns such as how safe they feel when using the Internet, their opinions regarding the future of Internet security, their experience with Internet infections and their confidence when it comes to security software.

“As a security vendor, it’s our job to stay one step ahead of the malware and Web threats to ensure our customers’ protection,” Lane Bess, general manager of Trend Micro consumer products and services, said in a company release.

The study, which was gathered in September 2006 and will take place at six month intervals in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, reported that 51 percent of consumers are not confident that their Internet security software is protecting their system.

The study also found that in the while 51 percent of respondents in the United States feel that the Internet is very safe, while 32 percent feel that the Internet will be less safe in six months.

The new research study from Trend Micro concluded that consumers take part in what is considered risky online behavior by participating in online banking, using credit cards to buy things and downloading freeware or shareware.

The research study also found the following:

  • Seventy-one percent of Japanese respondents feel that they have not been infected by malware in the last six months and yet 24 percent of the respondents were confident that their Internet Security platform was effectively protecting them.

  • In Japan, 67 percent of the respondents said that they used freeware/shareware programs while 63 percent in Germany, 62 percent in France, 44 percent in the UK and 43 percent in the United States admitted to using these kinds of programs

  • In Germany, 43 percent of the respondents think that the Internet is very safe while 24 percent of the respondents believe that the Internet will be less safe in six months

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    The study will continue to be conducted and will measure consumers’ attitudes and beliefs about their personal security and the security of the Internet as a whole, the company said.

    “It’s our job to regularly communicate with our customers regarding their level of security, in a way that is meaningful to them, so that they know how secure they truly are,” Bess said.

    Check out’s Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Ryan Naraine’s eWEEK Security Watch blog.