Internet security survey reveals Baltimore residents vulnerable to hacks


With recent Internet hacks revealing that not even the government is safe from online threats, a new survey has revealed that Baltimore residents are just as vulnerable, if not more.An Internet Security Survey revealed that 193,000 Baltimore residents and 31 percent of Americans nationwide have had their Internet network, e-mail, or computer hacked or compromised.

According to officials at Ooma, an online phone and Internet security company, multi-device Internet security has become particularly important now that a single network supports multiple devices.

With children alone consuming between six and nine hours of media per day, the company said its Zscaler-powered, DNS-based cloud security platform updates thousands of times per day to ensure effective protection.

“Standard anti-virus software does not protect you or your family from a multitude of online threats that Internet users face today when using various computers, smartphones and tablets on a home internet connection to browse the web, check email, watch video, play online games, and other things,” said Brian Jaquet, an Internet security expert at Ooma.“

Users who browse the web are susceptible to viruses, malware, phishing attacks and objectionable content that can be triggered simply by web browsing,”he said.

Also, Internet threats do not discriminate by city or state, Jaquet said.

“The worldwide web is the great equalizer, giving people access to content and information as long as they have an Internet connection,” he said.

“It’s also why protection from threats is so important because it doesn’t matter if you’re browsing the web from a high rise in Baltimore or a house in Chevy Chase. You have access to the same

great content and the same threats when browsing the web,” Jaquet said.

The survey also found that about 336,000 Baltimore residents and 54 percent of Americans nationwide have accidentally visited a website that infected their computer with a virus. Further, just

one in five Baltimore residents are aware of the issue and want to solve it, according to the survey’s findings.

Approximately 137,000 Baltimore residents and 22 percent of Americans across the country have said their desire is to have devices protected from online threats such as viruses, phishing and malware.Others are either unaware that such threats exist, or don’t know how to conduct safe searches, blacklist or whitelist domains, or filter content, Ooma officials said.

The survey also found that just one in 10 parents have a desire for more control over their children’s browsing habits“ An Internet connection, regardless of where you live, gives consumers access to a wealth of content, but also susceptible to a litany of threats,” Jaquet said.

Without protection for all computing devices that use a home internet connection, parents and children can easily fall prey to one of many online threats that are prevalent on the Internet, he said, noting that it’s important to employ a strong defense against these threats that can be updated in the cloud to provide the ultimate level of protection.“Ooma Internet Security is built into

Ooma’s consumer VoIP phone service and provides protection for all computing devices that use a home Internet connection against these threats and objectionable content online,” Jaquet said.

The service comes with a monthly fee but Jaquet says consumers can feel protected against a wide variety of threats and control the content, which consumers and their family members have access to. Some of the features include threat security, safe search, content filtering, website blacklisting and whitelisting and traffic monitoring.

“Ooma gives heads of household the full ability to manage all the devices on their network and determine the level of protection they want to employ for all their computing products,” Jaquet said.