Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/20/anti_virus_resource_hog_survey/

Bummed-out users give anti-virus bloatware the boot

One in four switch off resource hogs

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 20th December 2010 10:32 GMT

One in four users turned off their anti-virus protection in response to performance problems after they installed security software, according to a survey by security software firm Avira.

The poll of users of the German anti-virus outfit, which like AVG and Avast offers free security software to consumers, also found that more than three in five (62.8 per cent) users had tried multiple anti-virus products over the last year.

More than 9,000 users responded to the survey, which Avira argues illustrates that users will no longer tolerate security software that acts as a resource hog, slowing down their machines to a crawl.

Sorin Mustaca, a data security expert of Avira, said that turning off security software leaves surfers exposed to malware. Vendors need to take more care to avoid overloading security software with features which may have a great impact on system performance.

"In the end, when it comes to security, it is better to have minimal protection which goes unnoticed than protection with all whistles and bells which the user deactivates in order to be able to use his computer," Mustaca concluded.

After largely disregarding system performance issues for years, anti-virus vendors in general began making efforts to make sure their software avoided making systems slow or unresponsive.

Streamlining packages poses a tricky software design challenge at a time where the number of malware strains churned out by the bad guys is skyrocketing, forcing the use of more finely-tuned heuristics and behaviour-blocking technologies. ®