McAfee on Wednesday released the findings of a global study (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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.