62% of users have never heard of the most dangerous threats


Stuxnet, Duqu, and Zeus are the names of the most dangerous online threats, and have been reported even outside of the specialist computer press. But it seems that many ordinary users remain largely ignorant of them. A recent survey conducted by O+K Research shows that nearly two third of respondents have never heard of them, while 28% of those surveyed only know about them in general terms.

Kaspersky Lab co-founder Eugene Kaspersky (image: Charlie Fripp)

The participants of the survey – who represented 25 countries – were also asked about zero-day attacks and botnets and the result was almost the same – the users knew no more about these threats than about the above-mentioned malware. However these results are not unequivocally bad because integrated antivirus solutions protect devices from the latest threats regardless of what the owners know about them.

At the same time, users who don’t clearly understand the level of risk presented by the malware landscape may not fully understand the need for proper security software. This, according to the survey, is where the most serious problem lies. Nearly half of PC users and laptop owners (except for Apple products) think their data is relatively safe. 8.5% of respondents are sure their computer or laptop does not need any additional protection. Meanwhile, just one successful malware infection could lead to the loss of all important data stored on the user’s computer.

The situation with mobile devices is even more complicated: 16% of tablet owners and 15% of modern smartphone users are sure their devices are in no danger. Just under half of all mobile users can be classified as doubters – they think their devices are more or less protected although they admit the use of specialised software such as Kaspersky Mobile Security will provide additional levels of security.

Generally, most users tend to underestimate the danger which malware poses for their devices and their data. It is largely due to the fact that users simply do not know how malicious programs penetrate the computer, how they behave and what havoc they can wreak. It’s important to note that Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 ensures timely protection from all cyber-threats, including todays’ most dangerous cyber-weapons.

User attitudes to software packages which use advanced cloud-based technologies – such as Kaspersky Security Network – are also interesting. More than a quarter of the surveyed (27%) have never heard about such solutions. Most respondents (57%) have heard of them but aren’t interested. And only 16% of those surveyed already use solutions which support these technologies. The result is not encouraging considering the fact that it is cloud technologies which ensure that antivirus software gets information about emerging threats and can provide the necessary protection level.

The full version of the O+K Research report is available at http://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/pdf/kaspersky-lab_ok-consumer-survey-report_eng_final.pdf

Staff writer