Nearly one in three Americans (32%) would be willing to risk downloading a harmful virus, spyware, or other threat by visiting a potentially suspicious website or link. That’s just one shocking trend that security software company PC Tools found in a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, and despite the frequent warnings, adults say they would be tempted by a friend’s link, a posting on a social network or websites, catering to gaming, pornography, entertainment gossip, free product deals and of course, sites featuring a naked celebrity.

Even though Americans spend more time online than ever before, an overwhelming majority of them still want privacy when it comes to their own computer. The question is, are you keeping your computer safe from onlookers and cybercriminals?

• 79% of all Americans want to keep the files or documents on their personal computers private from others, including their children (39%), parents (26%), spouse or significant other (17%), co-workers (48%), boss (42%), and friends (40%).

• 45% of Americans would be embarrassed about their friends or family seeing certain files or documents on their personal or handheld computer, smart phone, or PDA, with men more concerned than women about others seeing the websites they have visited (18% vs. 12%, respectively).

This survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of PC Tools. All data collection was done by telephone within the United States from August 12-15, 2010 among 1,012 adults ages 18 and older. To see the full results of the survey, click here:

PC tools invites you to learn more about this Harris study and the importance of security and protection. We can set up interviews with a PC Tools representative. We have also provided helpful tips to protect your personal information and privacy.

Tips for Preventing Cybercrime:

1. Know your networks — Choose the safest and most appropriate wireless network while you’re checking email, Facebook and other online activities.

2. Be smart when using public computers — Most travelers know they can check emails and say hello to love ones by using public computers at a local hotel or café. But many don’t know to check for antivirus software on public computers. Even visiting a secure website (https: ) can result in simple keylogger theft of your password, so avoid logging into personal accounts (such as Facebook) and instead limit your use to online research.

3. Scrub your IM chats, keep personal information private – Regularly maintain your computer and keep your registry clean so that cybercriminals can’t access your personal data. Software such as PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011 guarantees your privacy by ensuring that all traces of your online and computer activities are permanently erased and unrecoverable on your PC.

4. Change your password often – Since cybercriminals can potentially crack your password if you are using WiFi or a third-party computer, PC Tools recommends you change it often. PC Tools offers a free password generator at

5. Turn on the Firewall — A Firewall protects your computer by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. PC Tools offers Firewall Plus for free and comprehensive protection with PC Tools Internet Security 2011.

6. Don’t click and run – If you download a recipe, map or movie ticket, save it on your computer and scan it before opening. Never click on the “run” program option. PC Tools Internet Security 2011 or Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2011 can scan your computer to make sure any file you download is safe.

7. Keep your AntiVirus current – There’s nothing worse than finding malware installed in your computer during the holiday shopping season! PC Tools offers products to keep your banking and shopping transactions safe at

8. Safeguard your finances — Cybercriminals can snatch your banking information over Wi-Fi or unreliable third party online networks, so don’t log onto your finance accounts or enter monetary information online over unsecured networks.

Additional resources:

Cyber Security Awareness Month Tips:

PC Tools products: