Every Windows user has some sort of antivirus and security software installed — or at least everybody should. But what protection do they use, and how do they use it? And does the software do any good?
To help answer that question, AV-Comparatives does an annual survey of computer users. Here’s a summary of the latest report.
Windows users who follow PC security trust Austria-based AV-Comparatives (site) as one of the most respected computing-security research organizations. I wrote about its anti-malware tests in the July 23, 2015, Top Story, “AV testing: Is your antivirus app doing its job?”
AV-Comparatives released its most recent survey (pdf download) on Feb. 16, and it includes a few surprises. For example, more than a third of respondents reported that their security software blocked a malware infection in the previous week; and nearly two thirds believe that a full security suite provides more protection than a simple antivirus program.
Most surprising, almost half of the respondents are using Windows 10.
How the survey information was collected
The quality of any survey depends on the polling methods and the people who answer it. Political polls, for example, call thousands of random people and interview them. But that’s costly, so AV-Comparatives used an opt-in method.