Feeds

One in four don't clean their stinky old browsers - especially Firefoxers

Mens sana in browsere sano, says Kaspersky

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Nearly one in four netizens are using outdated web browsers and are therefore easy pickings for viruses and exploit-wielding crooks.

The average home user upgrades his or her browser to the latest version one month after it is released, according to a survey of 10 million punters. Two thirds of those using old browser software are simply stuck on the version prior to the latest release - the remaining third are using even older code.

Internet Explorer is the most popular browser (used by 37.8 per cent of consumers), closely followed by Google Chrome (36.5 per cent). Firefox is in third place with 19.5 per cent.

Firefox users tend to be the worst for keeping up to date with new software releases, according to the survey by security biz Kaspersky Lab. The proportion of users with the most recent version installed was 80.2 per cent for Internet Explorer and 79.2 per cent for Chrome, but just 66.1 per cent for Firefox.

Old-codgers Internet Explorer 6 and 7, with a combined share of 3.9 per cent, are still used by hundreds of thousands of punters worldwide.

Andrey Efremov, director of whitelisting and cloud infrastructure research at Kaspersky, said: "Our new research paints an alarming picture. While most users make a switch to the most recent browser within a month of the update, there will still be around a quarter of users who have not made the transition. That means millions of potentially vulnerable machines, constantly attacked using new and well-known web-born threats."

Even though application and operating system developers can be swift to fix security holes and release new version, clearly not everyone updates swiftly enough. There are enough potential victims to lure in criminals, who exploit vulnerabilities in web browsers and plugins to install malware capable of raiding online bank accounts and worse.

The statistics were drawn from the web usage patterns of 10 million randomly selected Kaspersky Lab consumer customers worldwide, collected during August 2012. The data from business customers does not feature in the study.

Nonetheless, lessons learned from study are relevant to business. Employees typically lack the privileges to upgrade their work PC software, so it's the responsibility of the IT dept to juggle rolling out upgrades with ensuring new browser versions are compatible with the business's apps.

The Russian security firm's full Global Web Browser Usage and Security Trends report, which includes secure web-browsing tips and recommendations for consumers and businesses alike, is available for download here as a PDF. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.