India may have low penetration of computers, but it is ahead of countries like US, Japan and Singapore when it comes to basic PC protection, says a report by security software maker McAfee.
In a study that analysed data from voluntary scans from an average of 27-28 million computers per month, security technology company McAfee researchers found 17pc of the world is browsing the internet completely unprotected.
Finland had the highest number of 90.3% PCs with a basic security software solution in place, followed by Italy (86.2%) and Germany (85.55%).
Basic security protection is defined as working anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall technologies.
India ranked 14th on the list with 82.67%, while China ranked 17th (82%), followed by Japan and US at the 19th spot (80.65%) and Singapore at 22nd position (78.25%). The global average stood at 83%.
According to estimates, India had a total installed base of over 60 million PCs at the end of 2011.
“Its gratifying to see that the majority of consumers have gotten the message that at the very least they need to have basic security protection installed,” McAfee Co-President Todd Gebhart said.
“Protecting digital devices against cybercrime from malware not only benefits each of us personally, but also serves to discourage illicit activity and preserve the integrity of the Internet,” he added.
Cases of cyber-attacks against banks, technology firms, e-stores and government agencies are on the rise and have cost millions of dollars worth of losses, McAfee said.
However, 17% of the PCs scanned either had no anti-virus installed or the software was installed, but disabled.
Spain (16.3%) topped the list of countries where the PCs scanned did not have a security solution in place, followed by Japan (13.2%) and China (12.9%).
About 10.9% of the PCs scanned in India did not have a security solution, placing India at the 8th spot.
The study suggests often people do not understand that once the trial subscription expires (which came pre-installed with the PC), they are no longer protected.
Some consumers may disable their security protection on purpose, for example to play online games, while some PC users believe they do not need protection if they simply adhere to safe surfing best practices, it added.
“Security software is consumers’ first and, in many cases, only defence against cybercrime,” the study said.