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1 in 6 Windows PCs Have Zero Antivirus Protection

By - Source: McAfee | B 66 comments

The United States ranks in the bottom 5 least protected countries, says McAfee.

McAfee on Wednesday released the findings of a global study that set out to determine the percentage of personal computer owners without any working protection. The company quickly discovered that 17 percent of the world is surfing the internet without antivirus protection. Even more, 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," the security firm said. "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-percent of consumers are unprotected."

According to the report, 83-percent of global PC owners have working basic security protection while the other 17-percent either don't have protection installed, or have let the subscription expire. In the United States, 19.32-percent of the American people surf the internet without protection, 12.25-percent of which have zero security protection installed and 7.07-percent with protection disabled.

Outside the United States, Finland came out on top as the most protected in the 24 participating countries, with only 9.7-percent lacking any security protection. Singapore came out on bottom with 21.75-percent of consumer PCs completely unprotected, 11.75-percent of which have disabled protection.

"The freedom to browse the internet comes with the added risk of unwanted exposure, and cybercriminals are preying on unsuspecting victims," said 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-percent of consumers that are unprotected update their virus protection before it’s too late."

To read the full report, head here. It provides complete lists showing country ranking by percentage of consumers protected, percentage of consumers unprotected, consumers without any protection installed, consumers with protection installed but disabled, and more.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    fulle , May 31, 2012 3:52 PM
    With how well McAfee works, you might as well not have any AV client installed at all.
  • 21 Hide
    unclejehmimah , May 31, 2012 4:08 PM
    It's a good thing they don't have antivirus protection. What they do need is virus protection.
  • 16 Hide
    tcane , May 31, 2012 4:06 PM
    DRosencraft

    I couldn't disagree more. I've been Anti-Virus free now for 7 years. NONE of my 5 PC's have anti-virus software and they all run smoothly and efficiently. Knowledge is by far the most effective anti-virus tool.
Other Comments
    Display all 66 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    Jim_L9 , May 31, 2012 3:48 PM
    Not surprising to me.
  • -9 Hide
    ricdiculus , May 31, 2012 3:49 PM
    And 1 in 10 decided to start writing virus's!

    Maybe this kind of news shouldnt be talked about so openly?
  • 22 Hide
    fulle , May 31, 2012 3:52 PM
    With how well McAfee works, you might as well not have any AV client installed at all.
  • 6 Hide
    bin1127 , May 31, 2012 3:53 PM
    5 in 10 have zero antivirus installed or are using norton.
  • -4 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 31, 2012 3:53 PM
    It's unfortunate that so many people buy into the false assertion that "safe browsing" habits will protect them from all threats out there on the web. While I don't doubt McAfee is trying to sell more products, antivirus protection is like car insurance - you can do everything right and think you don't need it, but someone else's ignorance/slip-up/stupidity will expose you to danger and then you'll wish you had it.
  • -5 Hide
    coreym72 , May 31, 2012 4:05 PM
    Fully patched while running a browser as a guest account. All I need...
  • 16 Hide
    tcane , May 31, 2012 4:06 PM
    DRosencraft

    I couldn't disagree more. I've been Anti-Virus free now for 7 years. NONE of my 5 PC's have anti-virus software and they all run smoothly and efficiently. Knowledge is by far the most effective anti-virus tool.
  • 7 Hide
    jimmysmitty , May 31, 2012 4:07 PM
    DRosencraftIt's unfortunate that so many people buy into the false assertion that "safe browsing" habits will protect them from all threats out there on the web. While I don't doubt McAfee is trying to sell more products, antivirus protection is like car insurance - you can do everything right and think you don't need it, but someone else's ignorance/slip-up/stupidity will expose you to danger and then you'll wish you had it.


    The biggest threat is Java. I have found plenty of customers PCs filled with Java exploits. The easy way to fix that is disable Java from being able to keep temporary files on your PC via control panel.

    Still I don't find this information hard to trust. I have seen plenty of people with no AV at all. We try to get them on MSE but some don't want it at all.
  • 3 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 31, 2012 4:08 PM
    1 in 6 Windows PCs Have Zero Antivirus Protection... that's why i have a work...
  • 21 Hide
    unclejehmimah , May 31, 2012 4:08 PM
    It's a good thing they don't have antivirus protection. What they do need is virus protection.
  • 12 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , May 31, 2012 4:14 PM
    I guess I am one of the 1's. You don't need AV lol just don't be an idiot, gotta stay away from the free hermiporn sites lol
  • 8 Hide
    monktongaz , May 31, 2012 4:17 PM
    Internet pedantry ahoy:

    The tagline: "The United States ranks in the bottom 5 least protected countries, says McAfee."

    Surely that should read one of the following:

    "The United States ranks in the top 5 least protected countries, says McAfee."
    or
    "The United States ranks in the bottom 5 most protected countries, says McAfee."

    A minor quibble, I know, but the original version just looks wrong.

    Also: I use MSE. It's free, it gets updated, and with the usual rules about not being an idiot with regard to emails and so on, it keeps me clear of infection. Of course, obeying simple security standards immediately rules out 99.99% of viruses anyway, but what the hell, it was free.
  • 4 Hide
    tupz , May 31, 2012 4:25 PM
    I don't use that stuff, but I also work in IT. I know not everyone knows what to & not to click on/use etc..
  • 5 Hide
    juanc , May 31, 2012 4:27 PM
    3 out of 8 computers in this company I'm working have AV. No virus in those, nor in those without AV. It's the people, not the software.
  • 2 Hide
    spookie , May 31, 2012 4:28 PM
    Yes I know it's not the smartest thing to do but one of our pc's doesn't have ANY virus protection, yet we still havn't had any problems for the last six months...we have less problems now than before I formatted the pc (we had antivirus then)...and yes it has windows 7 on and is used to browse the internet most of the day
  • 11 Hide
    igot1forya , May 31, 2012 4:28 PM
    RADIO_ACTIVEI guess I am one of the 1's. You don't need AV lol just don't be an idiot, gotta stay away from the free hermiporn sites lol

    I'm with ya on that one. If I plan to do anything "risky", I fire up a VM.
  • 2 Hide
    ahnilated , May 31, 2012 4:28 PM
    Well I don't have to worry, I have Linux and don't fall into the percentages that browse and allow stuff to download .exe files. Just like I don't open email attachments from people I don't know. If people knew what they were doing on the web a lot of this junk would effect them.
  • 9 Hide
    memadmax , May 31, 2012 4:30 PM
    Sounds like a sales pitch from McAfee if you ask me....
    Anyways, I would often go for 6 months or more without AV software... Then I will get a wild hair up my but and install a couple to see if there was anything that they could find. Low and behold, nothing... except for one or two questionable tracking cookies...
    Why?
    Firefox with ad-blocker, no script, and common sense.... Not falling for dumb emails with phishing .exe's and links to obviously malicious websites....

    The weakest link in any network security environment is the human user element.....
    Networking 101.
  • 5 Hide
    stinkyfax , May 31, 2012 4:31 PM
    I am one of those "1 of 10", having computer science degree I find having antivirus useless and only resource consuming (both money and performance wise).
  • 3 Hide
    tupz , May 31, 2012 5:15 PM
    stinkyfaxI am one of those "1 of 10", having computer science degree I find having antivirus useless and only resource consuming (both money and performance wise).


    exactly. although, i wouldn't pay for an antivirus if I did use one (just use MSE). many people do need them though. they don't always help, but sometimes they do surprise you and do their job.
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