High rate of infection despite high percentage of security users

Third of EU web user had virus

Almost a third of the UK’s internet users have caught a computer virus despite 88 per cent having internet security software installed, a study reveals.

Financial losses were also a part of the figures, and they show that three per cent of net users in the EU lost money due to fraudulent payments and similar attacks. The loss of money in this way reached seven per cent of UK web users.

The statistics released alongside Internet Safety Day today, also noted how Bulgaria has the highest percentage of computer viruses in Europe – 58 per cent of internet connected computers had contracted one last year. Furthermore, Malta, where a large 91 per cent of internet users have security software installed, has had half its population of internet users infected with malware.

The survey took place in the second quarter of 2010 with 200,000 users taking part. The EU statistics office also noted that actual infection rates were probably higher than what was released, as it only included people who were aware their computers were infected.

The use of parental control software is still low, and children are known to be contacting potentially dangerous persons online and visiting inappropriate websites across Europe.

Foreign Secretary William Hague commented yesterday in Munich on a series of attacks against the defence industry and agreed that a "more comprehensive, structured dialogue” is needed “to lay the basis for agreement on a set of standards on how countries should act in cyberspace".

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