Slowdown: Users Turn Off Anti-Virus Software

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 @ 03:12 PM gHale

Anti-virus software does work if used properly, but a new study shows 25 percent of consumers surveyed turned off their anti-virus software because it was slowing down the computer, while 12% considered abandoning the Internet because of safety concerns.

In addition, 63% tried multiple anti-virus security products in a one-year span on the same computer, according to a survey of 9091 anti-virus software provider Avira customers worldwide.

“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”, said Sorin Mustaca, data security expert with Avira.

“The scary take-away from this survey is that 25% of the respondents admitted to turning off their security products because they feel that it hurt the performance of the machine. That’s not a good idea because such a practice leaves the computer totally exposed to the even simplest of viruses, allowing the bad guys to include it in a botnet used to distribute malware and phishing”, he warned.

Mustaca said vendors need to be careful not to overload their anti-virus software with features that could have a significant effect on system performance.

Anti-virus vendors should focus on offering products that provide the minimum necessary protection, rather than protection “with all the whistles and bells” that users deactivate in order to use their computers.