How safe is this internet thing, and how worrying are scaremongers?

Howard Lake | 17 August 2008 | Blogs

As a prospect researcher, I spend most of my working day on the PC, and much of that time using the internet. I was a little concerned to read an article in the August 2008 edition of Information Age (www.information-age.com) regarding “malware” – dodgy computer code uploaded to legitimate websites. The article reported that a Sony website and the website of the Association of Tennis Professional were amongst thousands of websites that are infected each year.
While many of the attacks seem to be quite crude, and might not fool visitors, it could (apparently) be easy enough to enable these sites to download keylogger programmes, to visitors’ computers. If it is so easy, wouldn’t it be quite common?
Some people might say that there might to be a bit of scare mongering by security firms. Are the standard anti virus and internet security packages any good at protecting computers from this sort of attack? Will more secure methods of using the internet be developed?
I cannot see prospect research retreating from using the internet. I wonder how risky it will prove to be.