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12/17/2010
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Antivirus Musical Chairs: Most Consumers Have Tried Multiple AV Products Per Year

Many AV users turn off AV altogether for performance reasons, survey says

Consumers worldwide apparently aren't content to stick with one antivirus software program: A new survey found more than 60 percent have run multiple different ones in a one-year period.

The new poll, conducted by Germany-based AV firm Avira, also found 25 percent of consumers have disabled their AV program because they felt it slowed their computer.

"It's not surprising that consumers try multiple security products each year since everyone is trying to find the right security product which can effectively balance protection and a computer’s resource usage," Sorin Mustaca, a data security expert at Avira, said in a statement. Mustaca said that even more disturbing is the one-fourth of consumers who actually turn off their AV because it's hurting their machine's performance -- leaving them completely "exposed."

And on the other end of the spectrum, around 12 percent of the consumers responding to the survey say they have considered not using the Internet at all for safety reasons. More than 9,000 Avira customers participated in the survey.

AV technology has been criticized for its inability to keep up with new threats, but most security experts say that even so, running antivirus and keeping it up to date is still considered part of best practices security, along with other tools like firewalls.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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