Results collected from over 100,000 users of the company's free online 'Browser Security Checker' show almost half (45 per cent) of users to be at "high risk" of a potential hacker attack.
Thirty-six per cent were shown to be at "medium risk" and a further one per cent at "low risk." In total, 86 per cent of computers tested by the checker around the world were shown to be easy pickings for hackers.
Of the findings, Chinese Internet users were shown to be most susceptible to an attack, with 65 per cent found to be operating at "high risk."
Surfers in the Czech Republic ranked second at 56 per cent and Germany placed third at 53 per cent at "high risk."
The UK ranked eighth behind Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland. Britain placed second in the world for users at "medium risk" (at 41 per cent) after Italy (42 per cent).
Comparatively, Canadian and American Internet users were shown to be at least risk of an attack. In these countries, 37 and 36 per cent of users were found to be at high risk, respectively, and forty per cent of users in both countries were shown to be at "medium risk."
David Michaux, ScanIT's managing director, said: "The results are alarmingly high. Amateur hackers will have few problem accessing systems deemed by our browser checker to be at "high" or "medium risk" but it is literally a gift for organised criminal gangs who hack systems professionally."
ScanIT research shows hackers can enter users' systems through loopholes in their browser software, regardless of firewall or virus protection software.
"Hackers are increasingly entering through flaws in Internet browsers themselves. Developers put out patches regularly but most users aren't installing them," David said.
Internet browsers used by survey participants include: MS Internet Explorer (72 per cent); Mozilla (10 per cent); and, Opera (10 per cent).
ScanIT is continuing to develop its free 'Browser Security Test' as part of a wider security package for Internet Service Providers and telco clients who offer business and home user broadband services.
Ensure your system is safe today! Take the ScanIT Browser Security Test today: http://www.scanit.be/bcheck
Notes to Editors:
1/. ScanIT is a leading home and corporate security systems company with operations in Belgium and Dubai. It was established in 1999 to provide security solutions to corporate users worldwide.
2/. Primary services include: Incident Handling, Security Consulting, Technical Fraud Investigations, Awareness Campaigns, Bulk Software Purchasing and PBX penetration Testing.
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Press release from Presswire Media Services Ltd.