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When it comes to enterprise security, user misconceptions of safe online behavior may be the weakest link, according to two recent research studies.

Users are in the dark about the "reality" of malware threats, according to G Data Software’s global survey released June 24. The massive survey included responses from nearly 16,000 users worldwide, of which more than 5,500 were based in the United States.

More than 40 percent of the respondents from the U.S. said it was more dangerous to go to adult content sites than to hobby sites such as horseback riding, the survey found. In actuality, hobby sites are "usually easier" to attack and pose a "greater infection risk" than adult sites because visitors aren’t expecting any danger, according to G Data.

"The level of awareness among Internet users is still inadequate and out-of-date in many respects," the researchers wrote in the report.

Nearly all the U.S.-based respondents said they would be able to recognize when their computer has been infected because their machines would crash, slow down or display pop-up windows, the survey found. These users don’t realize that modern malware is usually stealthy and can exist on the computer for long periods to "surreptitiously" steal information without sounding any alarms, the researchers wrote in the report.

"The aim of online criminals is to earn as much money as they can, which means that they want to keep infections hidden from users for as long as possible," the researchers wrote.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Users Clueless About Malware, Careless About Security Measures: Survey