A new survey by security vendor PC Tools has found that over a third of consumers don't update their security software, while more than half ignore alerts.
Can this really be true? Are PC users really that stupid? Well, as long as the survey wasn't carried out with a select bunch of Luddites, the implications are fairly alarming.
The sheer scale and constantly evolving nature of malware today means regular security updates are essential if your PC is to remain as resistant to attack as it can be. But if, as the research suggests, 40 per cent of women and just 20 per cent of men remember to switch on their automatic updates, the future looks grim.
Of course, enterprise PCs will have the requisite policies and technologies in place to minimise the risk of infection, so why care about the consumer sphere?
Botnets are the source of most evil these days; sending spam, launching denial of service attacks and firing off more malware. Until users take the security of their systems more seriously, these botnet-based attacks will continue to make corporate information security chiefs work hard for their money.
An interesting footnote is the 56 per cent of consumers who ignore security alerts when they flash up. This is a concern that security software companies must consider carefully. Are security notices generally too frequent, rendering the important ones lost in the noise? Should consumers be given an easier way to set alert levels? At the very least, a bit of food for thought.
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