Survey Finds Majority of Users Still Willing to Pay for Security Software

A new survey reveals that around 3 percent of all computer users surf naked on the web, which is to say they choose not to protect their PC with any security software at all, as opposed to literally surfing naked (a statistic we care not to know, thank you very much). That means the vast majority are rocking some form of antivirus protection, and most pay for their security software, according to an Internet survey conducted by AV-Comparatives.

Out of the 4,715 computers users from around the world who anonymously participated in the survey, 39.6 percent said they's running a paid Internet security suite solution, and another 15.6 percent run plain antivirus software that's not free. That means 55.2 percent are willing to throw money at security software, versus 41.9 percent who go the pro bono route (37.5 percent use a free antivirus solution and 4.4 percent run a free security suite). But even though paid security is finding a larger audience than the freebie alternatives, the gap is closing.

Antivirus Pie Chart

"Just over half of respondents employ a paid-for security solution, compared with two-thirds last year," AV-Comparatives notes in its report. "Correspondingly, use of free programs has risen to over two-fifths. This suggests that users may be growing more satisfied with the range and quality of free security programs."

What do users look for in security software? The three most popular qualities, all of which were rated by 60 percent of respondents as being important, are good detection rates, good malware removal capabilities, and low impact on system performance. Using a product from a well-known vendor was the least important.