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When It Comes To Computer Security — Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Some people believe ignorance is bliss.  Which may be true, under certain circumstances.  However, I can assure you, one of those circumstances is not computer security.

19.63% Of PC Users Choose Not To Use Security Programs

In a recent survey conducted by PC Matic, 19.63% of respondents stated they were not using an anti-virus solution.  Considering the growing cyber security threats targeting home and business PC users, the idea of not having a security solution is incredibly concerning.  Some users believed an anti-virus is not necessary because they are “safe” without it.  This is debatable.  Yes, users can be hyper vigilant about what they do and do not click on.  However, what about the phishing scams that look legitimate?  Or the malware placed within a backdoor of an unpatched software program?  Or a malicious ad that does not need to be clicked on, for it to obtain information about your PC and then insert malware?  It’s likely computer users who choose not to use an anti-virus solution, have limited awareness of modern cyber threats.

31.86% Of PC Users Are Unaware Of Their Security Provider

Another interesting finding was, out of the respondents who reported using a security solution, 31.86% had no idea who their provider was.  This begs one major question.  Do they even have an anti-virus solution?  Often times, after purchasing a new computer, users fail to renew or replace the security program after the trial period is up.  It is not that they do not want protection, they may just believe the trial is still active when it is not.  This logic also applies for users who buy a one year subscription to a security solution, but fail to renew it.

Spreading Cyber Security Awareness

A few different factors may play into PC users being less than concerned about using a security solution.  These may include:

  • They believe they can spot a scam.  This may be true.  But hackers are making malware executables look more and more legitimate, meaning it is possible for even extremely cautious PC users to fall victim.
  • They aren’t aware of the current threat landscape.  This is likely one of the leading factors that deters users from buying an anti-virus solution.  If they were aware of the current phishing scams, ransomware attacks and viruses being executed on PCs worldwide — they would likely implement a security program.
  • Users limit their online access.  Limited access may limit your exposure to malware, but does not eliminate it.
  • Or they only go to secure websites.  This is a great best practice.  However, malicious ads have recently been found on secure sites such as Google.

To be clear, purchasing a security solution does not mean you can throw caution to the wind.  Continuing to only visit secure sites, thinking before you click, and increasing your cyber security awareness are all still important best practices.

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