23 Jun 2011

Many users believe in internet security myth

A majority of computer users have a mistaken impression about the most common source of malicious software, according to a study released today by G Data.

After surveying users from the U.S. and 10 European countries, G Data reports 54.42 percent of respondents said they believed most malware is spread via e-mail. But according to G Data, users have become savvy about deleting messages from unknown senders. So malicious software is now mostly spread through websites accessed when users click on links that are sometimes sent through e-mail{email}, but increasingly appear on social networking sites and in the results of search engine queries.

Nearly as many respondents (48.27 percent) said they believe most malware comes from downloading files via peer-to-peer or torrent sites. G Data says the volume of malware infections from downloaded files is not as great as the volume from malicious websites.

The G Data study found users were most well-informed about security risks in the U.K., where 65.33 percent of respondents reported having a full suite of security software installed on their computers. However, this British savvy might not extend to mobile devices. A recent survey of 2,000 Brits undertaken by BullGuard found 55 percent of respondents were unaware mobile devices can be infected by a virus.