Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How did PC users protect themselves against viruses ten years ago?

An investigation by IT security specialist Avira showed that only one third of those surveyed in 1999 had virus protection installed

Tettnang, 23 September 2009 – The tenth anniversary of the Free Antivirus free virus protection program provided an opportunity for time travel. In August, Avira surveyed 5,543 international web surfers on to find out how they dealt with the issue of IT security ten years ago, when the number of computer attacks rose sharply.

The majority of those surveyed - 32 percent (1,780 users) - didn’t actually own a PC back then. Ten years ago 22 percent of PC owners (1,228 users) had at least basic no-frills protection against viruses on their machines. A further 19 percent (1,050 users) took a more serious view of the problem and never allowed their computers to run without the protection of a good antivirus program.

12 percent (653 users) had absolutely no protection on their computer at the time. Because in 1999 malware did not aim to remain undetected for long periods, but instead laid computers low in a matter of minutes, attacks didn’t go unnoticed for long. According to the survey, 11 percent (602 users) learned from such an attack and get protection after the first incident, maintaining it ever since.

Nonetheless, four percent (230 users) still take a devil-may-care attitude and fail to see the need to protect their PCs against damage. This group has managed without virus scanners until now. However, today’s malware works so well ‘under cover’ that infected computers often go undiagnosed without the help of virus protection. This means that other people can spy on their data and read their communications.

Ten years of Free Antivirus – ten months extra virus protection for customers free

For ten years now Avira has been providing free basic protection for all private computers with its Free Antivirus version. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Free Antivirus, Avira is offering customers buying the Avira AntiVir Premium and Avira Security Suite security solutions (for private users) or the Avira Small Business Suite for businesses ten extra months’ virus protection free-of-charge. In other words, the customer pays for 12 months’ cover but get 22. The anniversary offer has been running since 16 September 2009 and continues until 26 September 2009 inclusive through the Avira webshop.

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit