Malware Infections 5.5 Times More Likely Without Antivirus Software, Finds New Research From Microsoft

Malware Infections 5.5 Times More Likely Without Antivirus Software, Finds New
                           Research From Microsoft

Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report shows 2.5 out of 10 computers lack
up-to-date malware protection, dramatically increasing risk of infection.

PR Newswire

REDMOND, Wash., April 17, 2013

REDMOND, Wash., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today released
the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 14 (SIRv14). In addition to
analyzing prevalent threats from across the globe, the data revealed an
important trend related to antivirus software (Antivirus). The study showed
2.5 out of 10 computers on average do not use up-to-date Antivirus. The report
shows that without this vital protection layer, computers are 5.5 times more
likely to be infected with malware. Antivirus helps guard against viruses,
remove infections and protect people's privacy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

"People intuitively understand the importance of locking their front doors to
prevent their homes from being broken into. Computer security is no different.
Surfing the Internet without up-to-date Antivirus is like leaving your front
door open to criminals," said Tim Rains, director, Trustworthy Computing,
Microsoft. "With the release of this new research, Microsoft is urging people
to make sure they have up-to-date Antivirus installed on their computers."

SIRv14 explains some of the most prevalent threats facing consumers online:

  oThink before you click. Microsoft detected and removed malicious email
    attachments from almost 3 million computers in the fourth quarter of 2012.
    People encounter this type of threat when opening documents, such as a PDF
    or Word document, that have been maliciously crafted and sent to them in
    email. Antivirus can help prevent infection from this type of attack.
  oBargain hunters beware. Keygen, a threat family commonly bundled with
    malware, was detected almost 7 million times in the fourth quarter of
    2012. People seeking free or discounted software, movies or games online
    increase the risk of encountering this type of threat. Antivirus can help
    protect against it.

Despite the benefits of Antivirus, many people do not realize they are
unprotected. There are a number of reasons 2.5 out of 10 computers are
unprotected:

  oA trial period has expired or the software is out of date.
  oThe Antivirus was disabled by malware.
  oPeople may not realize the importance of Antivirus so they do not install
    it.

To find out if people are using valid and up-to-date Antivirus, Microsoft
recommends they go to their system control panels to check their computers'
security settings. If they do not have Antivirus installed, they can download
it from a trusted vendor. If they have Windows 8, then Microsoft's Antivirus
is installed.

"Regardless of whether you use a free or paid-for solution, the importance of
Antivirus cannot be overstated," Rains said. "By taking the proper measures to
protect your computer, including the most basic step of installing Antivirus,
you can dramatically reduce your risk of becoming a victim."

Microsoft releases the SIR twice a year to inform the public about the most
prevalent global threats so they can protect themselves and their
organizations. SIRv14 includes data from the second half of 2012 and contains
threat intelligence from more than 1 billion computers worldwide.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Contact: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070,
rrt@waggeneredstrom.com
 
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