The results show that an alarmingly high proportion of users did not know what software was running on their computers to ensure they had adequate protection from hackers, malware, viruses, ‘dirty’ websites, and other online threats. More than one-tenth of respondents (13%) said they did not have any anti-virus software installed on their machines at all, while a further 9% did not know if anti-virus was installed. Almost one-fifth of respondents (19%) did not know if they had firewalls installed.
Three-fifths of the respondents (60%) did not have privacy software installed, and a further quarter (25%) did not know whether they did or not.
When asked if they knew what the privacy settings were on their browser, over half (52%) admitted they didn’t know.
Less than half (46%) of all respondents, when asked: “do you think the privacy of information stored on your computer is adequate,” said they thought they had adequate protection for their online data and security.
The survey showed that some consumers are aware of online dangers and as well as having anti-virus, anti-span, firewall, and privacy software installed, they also had encryption software installed. Encryption software ensures that should anyone have access to a user’s computer – whether through dishonest means such as theft, or innocuous means such as sharing a home PC or work laptop – any files or content the user wishes to keep private are encrypted and protected. This can include photographs, important documents such as downloaded bank statements, and music.