Key Points:

Four New Zealanders ranging from a teenage boy to a senior citizen went about their online day-to-day tasks on poorly secured computers yesterday in an experiment on security.

NetSafe and IBM, marking International Computer Security Day, showed how a household with a computer put itself at risk of every day. There were more than 112 direct attempts to attack the four computers. The first probes happened within 30 seconds and the first attempt at intrusion within two minutes.

IBM's John Martin said when people went live on the internet without security they were instantly detected. NetSafe's Martin Cocker said the results showed how important security was.