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By 26 September 2012 | Categories: news

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Despite the fact that most PC and notebook owners want to keep their digital data safe, a recent survey conducted for Kaspersky Lab by O+K Research revealed that 69% of users were relying on free antivirus software to do so.

According to the survey, 95% of desktop computers and 92% of notebooks worldwide are protected from malware and other threats. However, Kaspersky pointed out that the underlying question is how effective the security solutions being used actually are.

While the company freely admitted that there are plenty free anti-virus solutions on the market today, it asserted that all of these have rather limited functionality.
 
Free vs paid
 
The company added that commercial solutions, meanwhile, offer a very different set of choices, as developers are focused on comprehensive products which include a fire wall, anti-spam and anti-phishing filters and other tools over and above basic anti-malware protection.
 
According to Kaspersky, it is precisely these modules, which are seldom seen in free solutions, which provide real security during common user activities, such as visiting web sites, communicating on social networking sites and performing online financial transactions.
 
Key findings
 
During the course of the survey, O+K Research tried to determine how often the respondents used pre-installed protection software. It found that 60% of those surveyed obtained a trial version of an anti-virus programme along with their computer or notebook, and only 13% of these continued using the pre-installed solution after the trial period expired.  Additionally,  30% of the users eventually switched to another solution.
 
Interestingly, 2% of respondents took no steps after the trial period was over and left their computers unprotected.

While an increasing number of users around the world are aware of the benefits of anti-virus software, including for mobile devices, knowledge of current threats apparently leaves much to be desired.

Key findings from the survey include the following:
  • Today’s users are active online shoppers and regularly use online banking systems. The proportion of PC users performing financial transactions of one sort or another is almost equal to that of social network fans, and mobile device users are catching up fast. Therefore, both the amount of sensitive data on the internet and the risk of data theft are increasing. 
  • Most users realise it is necessary to use anti-virus software either as the main protection or as an extra layer of security. However, almost two thirds of respondents prefer anti-virus solutions that provide insufficient security. A significant number of users have bought a computer with a pre-installed trial version of a paid antivirus software, but only 13% have extended the license. Additionally, the situation with mobile security is far from ideal.
  • The majority of respondents are careless when it comes to protecting their private data. In particular, at least a third of them use passwords that are easy to crack. Another alarming tendency is the frequent (in fact, daily) use of unsecured public Wi-Fi networks – it is the second most popular method of wireless connection, though it is the most dangerous from the point of view of security.

To the point

Additionally, the company stressed that the ever-increasing number of threats makes it necessary to provide reliable multilevel protection to the user’s most important data, and that requires the use of complex technologies such as Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Money system, developed to protect online payments.

In essence, Kaspersky’s message appears to be that the cost of the most effective security solutions is relatively small for the necessity of the protection they offer, and that paid-for solutions surpass their free counterparts in terms of quality. 

In recent news, a hack was revealed which affects certain Samsung phones, and which could allow malicious code to remotely, and irreversibly, reset one’s TouchWiz laden mobile device.

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