How did PC users protect themselves against viruses ten years ago?

Avira surveyed 5,543 international web surfers to find out how they dealt with the issue of IT security ten years ago, when the number of computer attacks rose sharply.

The majority of those surveyed – 32 percent (1,780 users) – didn’t actually own a PC back then. Ten years ago 22 percent of PC owners (1,228 users) had at least basic no-frills protection against viruses on their machines. A further 19 percent (1,050 users) took a more serious view of the problem and never allowed their computers to run without the protection of a good antivirus program.

12 percent (653 users) had absolutely no protection on their computer at the time. Because in 1999 malware did not aim to remain undetected for long periods, but instead laid computers low in a matter of minutes, attacks didn’t go unnoticed for long. According to the survey, 11 percent (602 users) learned from such an attack and get protection after the first incident, maintaining it ever since.

Nonetheless, four percent (230 users) still take a devil-may-care attitude and fail to see the need to protect their PCs against damage. This group has managed without virus scanners until now. However, today’s malware works so well “under cover’ that infected computers often go undiagnosed without the help of virus protection. This means that other people can spy on their data and read their communications.

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