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AV-Comparatives Releases 2021 Security Survey Report - Users’ views on security products revealed

Security Survey 2021 - AV-Comparatives

Security Survey 2021 - AV-Comparatives

"We are proud, that users rated AV-Comparatives as most trustworthy and reliable independent IT Security Test Lab. We will continue or high-quality testing, and introduce new tests during this year." - Peter Stelzhammer, co-founder, AV-Comparatives

Austrian IT-security testing lab AV-Comparatives has released the report of its 2021 security survey report: https://www.av-comparatives.org/surveys/it-security-survey-2021/

In 2020, restrictions on personal movement to counteract the spread of COVID-19 led to unprecedented use of the Internet. Millions of people worked from home rather than in an office, and millions more arranged virtual social meetings using platforms like Teams, Skype and Zoom. Whilst tablets and smartphones remained as popular as before, ZDNet reported a 28.3% rise in laptop sales relative to the previous year. This makes security software for desktop operating systems more important than ever, as cyber criminals attempt to exploit the new situation.

This annual survey of computer users worldwide also focuses on which security products (free and paid), operating systems and browsers are most widely used.

Key Results of the survey:

  • The number of respondents using Windows 10 has risen again this year, leaving Windows 7 with only a twentieth of users.
  • Android remains by far the most popular mobile operating system, being used by just over three quarters of respondents. iOS is the only other mobile OS to reach double figures, at about 22%.
  • Google Chrome is still the most popular browser, with over a third of respondents (35.7%) using it. However, this figure has fallen from about 50% last year. Mozilla Firefox now runs Chrome very close, also having a share of more than a third (34.1%). Microsoft Edge, which is now Chromium based, has risen significantly to a share of 15.6%.
  • Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Microsoft and ESET (in that order) are the four most popular desktop security products worldwide, and feature in the top five products on every continent.
  • Bitdefender is the most popular mobile security solution overall and on each of the four continents with significant results. Bitdefender, Kaspersky and ESET are the only three mobile AV apps found in the top five on every continent.
  • The most major reason for users wanting to change their security product is not the software itself, but the marketing practices of the respective vendor (such as upselling and high renewal prices).
  • Some of the test labs we asked users about were much better known than others, with 96% having heard of AV-Comparatives. As regards user confidence, once again we are delighted to be voted the most trustworthy and reliable among the testing labs.

Users from all around the world answered a variety of questions on IT-security related topics. These included which desktop operating system, mobile operating system and browser respondents used. Results suggest that survey participants may be more conscious of security and privacy issues than the average user, as they tend to use up-to-date operating systems and browsers with advanced privacy features.

Unsurprisingly, the survey asked users which security products they use to protect their desktop and mobile devices, and if they used paid or free versions. In both OS categories, just a few products made up the top five products in all geographical regions. A majority of users were satisfied with their current security solution. The survey asked those who were not why they wanted to change, and this turned up an unexpected answer.

Respondents were also asked which products (business and consumer) they would like to see tested by AV-Comparatives. The survey concluded with questions about the best-known and most trusting antivirus testing labs.

All AV-Comparatives’ public reports can be downloaded free of charge and without registration from http://www.av-comparatives.org. AV-Comparatives is an independent testing lab based in Innsbruck, Austria, and has been publicly testing computer-security software since 2004. It is ISO 9001:2015 certified for the scope “Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software”. It also holds the EICAR certification as a “Trusted IT-Security Testing Lab”.

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Peter Stelzhammer
since: 08/2009
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