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Broadband users need to ensure they take all necessary IT security precautions, it has been claimed.

According to research conducted by TalkTalk – which surveyed 19,828 consumers in the UK – 45 per cent of web-connected homes have experienced some form of online attack.

The broadband provider estimated that 700,000 attempts at identity theft were made during the first quarter of 2011, reports ISPreview.co.uk.

Some 34 per cent of attacks used Adware to collect personal identifiable information from computers.

Trojan horses and spyware accounted for 14 per cent of IT security attacks, with viruses taking a 14 per cent share.

Some five per cent of internet attacks were in the form of worms, with ID theft and phishing (four per cent) and hacking (three per cent) other major risks.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of broadband users surveyed (23 per cent) said one of their children had accidentally downloaded a virus onto their home computer.

And five per cent said someone aged between six and 17 in their home had given out personal information online.

TalkTalk's Tristia Clarke said the broadband provider is committed to protecting each and every UK household for internet security risks.

"It would be a shame if fears about security and safety prevented anyone from enjoying all the benefits of the online world," she stated.

"People do have to take individual responsibility for their safety online but we do more than other ISP to help people stay safe."

According to McAfee, 12 million new examples of malware code were identified during the first half of the year, up 22 per cent on the equivalent period in 2010.

The firm predicted there will be 75 million different types of malware code in circulation by the end of the year.

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