Majority of security software is acquired online

With 62% of purchases occurring on the Internet, the majority of security software products are being acquired online with over half of those online purchases being made directly through the manufacturer Web site, according to Security Software Topical Report, the most recent study from the NPD Group, that offers detailed insight into consumers’ perceptions and awareness of security software products, covering ownership, purchase dynamics and general opinions about consumers’ concerns with computer threats.

According to the report, free security software downloads compete directly with paid security software, with 36% of all security software downloads being downloads of a free product and 42% being paid digital downloads. Of those security software products purchased at a physical location, 62% were made directly off the shelf, 25% came with the purchase of a new PC and 11% were made through a retailer’s tech bench.

The computer threat and/or security issue that most concerns consumers is viruses (80%) followed by identity theft (73%). Surprisingly, only 34% of households with kids under the age of 18 are concerned with what their kids are accessing on the Internet.

Various software features have a high level of awareness with virus protection and spyware protection topping the list but only 32% are aware of what a virus signature update is. Over half of those aware of virus signatures would prefer to receive updates as frequently as every day.

Many of those who do not currently have security software on their home computer stated it is because they either don’t care or don’t feel they need security software. However, better prices and knowledge of existing viruses on their computers were two key motivators for previous non-owners of security software to purchase it for their home computer.

Even though the most common reason prompting installation of security software was to be proactive and prevent anything from happening to their PC, 19% of consumers are not aware of what type of security software is currently protecting their home computer.

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