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Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

Poll shows people worried about Net attacks

Ninety percent of Internet users polled about recent cyberattacks say they are "concerned" but that the incident won't significantly change their surfing habits.

Internet users polled about last week's serial hack attacks said the incident won't significantly change their surfing habits, although many said they would think twice before shopping online, according to a survey released today.

In addition, while 90 percent of respondents said they were "concerned" by the attack, no consensus emerged on who should police the Web, the PC Data Online poll shows. About 3,400 home Internet users were targeted over the weekend.

"The hack attack clearly served as a wake-up call for some," said Jim Carey, spokesman for the market research firm. "Many people said the event was not going change their online habits" except when it came to giving up credit card numbers or other personal financial information online.

Last week's so-called denial of service attacks, Shutdown special report which temporarily shut down Yahoo, eBay, Amazon.com and other large Web sites, brought the issue of Internet security to the forefront of national debate. The attacks marked the first time that high-profile and well-protected sites had been successfully targeted by Net vandals.

Nearly 21 percent said the sites should bear responsibility for policing themselves while the remaining respondents were evenly split as to whether the burden should fall on private industry, the online community, or an international organization.

Faith in security also dipped, with 37 percent saying that they have changed their opinion about the vulnerability of the Net.

Still, nearly half of those polled said they would not change their online behavior. But of the 54 percent who did, more than 80 percent said they would be less likely to shop online in the future.

"Last week's Web attacks officially marked the end of our celebration with holiday e-tail," said Julie Oliver, senior manager of surveys at PC Data Online. "Reality set in."