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People using broadband internet services need to make sure their computers are protected against viruses and other security threats, an analyst has argued.

David Emm of internet security firm Kaspersky advised that anti-virus programs are an effective way of reducing the risks of using the internet.

He says the anti-virus software helps to "minimise the window of opportunity for the bad guys", making broadband internet connections safer to use.

A recent BBC report suggested that the number of malicious programs on the internet has reached an all-time high.

The study released earlier this month reports that there were around 5.5 million unique security threats online in 2007.

In the past few years, the figure has ballooned dramatically, with under 200,000 reported at the end of 2004.

There are a number of internet service providers that offer anti-virus protection as part of a broadband package.

Virgin Media's cable broadband services include a modem, firewall and security suite to protect customers while they're on the web.

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