Nearly 1-in-5 of Computers in U.S. Have No Security Protection

May 31, 2012

The good news is that just over 80% of the U.S. population has at least some security protection in place on their computers; the bad news is that 19.32% of computers in the U.S. still have no protection at all according to a new study by McAfee[i].

Among the countries tested, the US placed among the bottom 5  – with worse security protection rates than countries like China and India.

That’s grim news, but even worse was the study’s finding that 96% of tablets and smartphones lack security software in spite of these devices being fully capable computers storing sensitive personal and financial information. The lack of smartphone device security is exacerbated by the number of Android users who have installed “antivirus protection” yet the services they downloaded actually fail to provide any protection – learn more in my blog Most Users with Free Android Antivirus Scanners aren’t Protected.

With cybercrime rates skyrocketing what’s driving the security gap?

The lack of security protection on PC’s is not a cost issue. For less than a penny a day, consumers can be protected by strong security software

If consumers in countries with low average incomes like India and China can afford security software, so can Americans.

A few quick searches show steep discounts on 1-year subscriptions to for-pay security products with excellent reputations and broad security coverage:

  • A 50% discount offer on McAfee’s Internet Security Center 2012, making the cost just $39.99
  • A 55% discount offer on Norton’s Internet Security 2012, dropping the cost to $35.99
  • A 50% discount on TrendMicro’s Titanium security 2012, dropping the cost to $39.95
  • A 40% discount on AVG’s Internet Security 2012, dropping the cost to $32.99
  • A 50% discount on Kapersky’s Internet Security 2012, dropping the cost to $39.97
  • And so on.

 

If a penny a day is still too steep a price, there are good free alternatives. To find these products, search on the term “best free security software” or read PCMagazine’s February 2012 article The Best Free Antivirus for 2012.

 

If the lack of security protect isn’t due to cost, then it’s due to the lack of effective education

For those in the internet industry or internet safety education worlds, it feels like the message that every single computer and computing device must be protected has been talked and promoted to death. Apparently, it hasn’t been.

The data shows that we haven’t explained the personal and broader security risks to the 1-in-5 unprotected computer owners in a way they find compelling and motivates them to take action.

What are we missing? How is it that countries where far less has been spent educating consumers have more users leveraging protection software?

Have we not shown well enough the cause-and- effect between unsecured computers and identity theft, malware, spam, unusable computers, and so on?

Have we not helped consumers understand how easy it is to download and install security software?

Have we not explained how low cost (or free) the insurance premiums are for protecting computers?

As an industry, these are questions that must be answered if we are to succeed in creating a safer and more secure online environment – not just for the ~20% who aren’t leveraging these tools today, but for the entire internet ecosystem.

Ranking of Countries by Percentage of Consumers Unprotected

Ranking

Country Ranking by Percentage of

Consumers Unprotected

Percentage

1

          Singapore

21.75

2

          Mexico

21.57

3

          Spain

21.37

4

          Japan

19.35

5

          US

19.32

6

          China

18.02

7

          Canada

17.92

8

          Ireland

17.57

9

          Korea

17.55

10

          India

17.32

11

          Philippines

17.12

12

          Sweden

16.92

13

          Malaysia

16.77

14

          UK

16.5

15

          Norway

15.72

          Australia

15.72

16

          Netherlands

15.7

          Brazil

15.7

17

          France

15.17

18

          Denmark

14.9

19

          New Zealand

14.77

20

          Germany

14.47

21

          Italy

13.8

22

          Finland

9.67

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(No Anti-Virus istalled or the software was installed, but disabled) Source: McAfee

Linda


[i] The McAfee study was conducted in 24 countries, and analyzed data from 27-28 million PCs each month, to determine a global estimate of the number of consumers who have basic security software.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,761 other followers