Free service to help customers avoid damaging effects of infection
With malware becoming a growing problem for all internet users, Virgin Media is taking a proactive stance to help protect its customers from this worrying security issue. Brought recently into the limelight with high profile computer security issues such as the Zeus banking Trojan*, which reportedly siphoned over half a million pounds from UK consumers' banks, Virgin Media will be looking at a number of ways to help its customers avoid or resolve malware attacks and protect them from potentially irreparable harm.
Despite providing a free class-leading security package with its broadband service, Virgin Media's research**, conducted through its recently launched Virgin Media Digital Home Support service, has highlighted that many customers haven't installed any type of computer protection or are failing to keep their security packages up to date. Virgin Media's Digital Home Support team discovered that nearly a quarter of customers asking for help had computer or speed issues caused by malware infections such as viruses, trojans or spyware.
Malware infections can slow down computers but most worryingly can also compromise a surfer's online security - infected computers can be used to send spam email without the owner's knowledge, stealing personal data and logging keystrokes, such as passwords. A machine infected by malware can also be used for numerous other nefarious activities including online crime such as fraud or the distribution of illegal material.
In order to help address this, Virgin Media will be working with a number of independent, not-for-profit organisations, including those representing the financial and security sectors, which constantly monitor the spread of these viruses around the internet. These groups, such as The Shadowserver Foundation, are typically run by volunteer internet professionals that alert ISPs to home connections that might be infected to help minimise the impact of malware attacks on individuals, businesses and governments.
As part of its strategy to help defend its customers, Virgin Media's Internet Security team will be trialling an education campaign, writing to customers whose computers are reported as showing signs of infection. Each household will be contacted via a letter which will detail free ways to scan computers for and remove viruses. It will also give contact details for Virgin Media Digital Home Support which offers a complete virus removal service to provide total peace of mind, all using the latest remote control technology.
Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said: "Malware doesn't just affect computers - it can affect lives. It's time for ISPs to go beyond the basics and do whatever they can to help protect their customers from this growing problem. Customers may think they are protected, but with the ease by which malware can infect a computer - even just by visiting a innocent-looking website - we're going to do whatever we can to help defend our customers from serious consequences such as identity theft, and even banking fraud.
"We're writing to customers we've been told may be infected by malware, encouraging them to check their computers have an up to date security package, such as Virgin Media Security, and offering advice on simple and free ways to disinfect their computer. For those who need a little bit more help we also have our fee-based Digital Home Support service which fixes problems using the latest cutting edge remote control technology."
Virgin Media regards its role as a responsible ISP seriously and will be exploring additional ways to help protect its customers from malware infections.
Customers can download a free PC Healthcheck utility and find out more about Virgin Media Digital Home Support at www.virginmedia.com/dhs. For further information on Virgin Media Security, visit www.virginmedia.com/security.