Lack of consumer PC protection is a global problem. In a study that analyzed data from voluntary scans from an average of 27-28 million computers per month, McAfee researchers found 17% of the world is browsing the internet completely unprotected. Out of the 24 participating countries, the United States landed in the top 5 least protected.
Browsing the internet on an exposed computer not only increases the risk of identity theft and data loss, but it can contribute to the spread of harmful programs and nasty viruses.
Even if you think your personal computer has basic protection installed, it is important to make sure your security software stays up-to-date.
Research also found many of the scanned computers have disabled or expired software. Within the United States alone, 19.32% of consumers are unprotected.
- 83% of global PC owners have working basic security protection
- 17% of PCs scanned had no anti-virus software installed or it was expired
- Finland came out on top as the most protected, with only 9.7% of PCs lacking any security protection
- Singapore came out on bottom with 21.75% of consumer PCs completely unprotected
- The United States is the 5th least protected country, with 19.32% of Americans browsing the Internet without any protection – 12.25% of consumers have zero security protection installed; 7.07% have security software installed but disabled
- Spain had the highest percentage of PCs without any installed basic security protection at 16.33%
- Singapore had the highest percentage of users, 11.75%, with installed, but disabled, security protection
- Consumers globally say 27% of their digital files would be “impossible to restore” at all if lost and not backed up properly, and had an average value of $10,014 US.
“The freedom to browse the internet comes with the added risk of unwanted exposure, and cybercriminals are preying on unsuspecting victims,” says Steve Petracca, SVP and GM of consumer, small business and mobile at McAfee. “With the increasing number of global cyber-attacks affecting consumers, it is critical that the 17% of consumers that are unprotected update their virus protection before it’s too late.”