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Riskiest Web surfing zones identified

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Turkey and Russia are the riskiest countries for Internet surfing, while Japan and Taiwan take the lead as the safest zones, according to AVG Technologies' Global Threat Index.

After compiling data taken from 144 countries, involving more than 100 million PCs, the security software developer looked at the incidence of security threats its software had to deal with in the last week of July. From these figures, AVG came out with an average for attacks per user per country.

AVG says the area where one is most likely to be hit by a malicious attack or virus is the Caucasus region. This includes countries like Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“At the other end of the scale, some of the world's safest surfers can be found in Japan and Taiwan, while seven of the 10 safest countries in which to surf the Internet are in Africa,” the company adds.

Johann van der Merwe, from PricewaterhouseCoopers' security advisory, comments that advances in technology make it increasingly easier for cyber criminals to develop malware.

He says it is also difficult to track down online criminals. “As the relative losses due to online fraud supported by malware are low, the incentive or resources to investigate these incidents is not always there.

“This is especially true if the victims are individuals and not large corporations. A much more co-ordinated effort is required between countries to manage the threats, rather than to focus on the vulnerabilities,” says Van der Merwe.

Leading the pack for risky surfing is Turkey, where AVG says it had to step in to protect one out of 10 Web surfers. Behind Turkey comes Russia, with AVG having to guard one in every 15 users.

According to the company, other areas where Web surfers are disproportionately at risk include Bangladesh (one in 41), Pakistan (one in 48) and in South East Asia, Vietnam and Laos (where the chances of facing an attack are one in 42).

AVG says Japan is the safest Internet surfing place on the planet, with an average of one in 403 Web surfers facing an attack.

Comparing the information gathered continent by continent, AVG says the safest region is South America, where one in 164 risks malware attacks. Africa is the second safest, with a ratio of one in every 108. While surfing the Web in North America, the chances of an attack are one in 51. “In Europe it is one in 72, while in Asia (including Asia-Pacific) it's one in 102,” says AVG.

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