Report: One-Third Of EU Contracts Malware Despite Using Anti-Malware Software

Hmm, the following would seem to impugn the efficacy of anti-malware software. New stats show that nearly one-third of computer users in the European Union contracted malware in 2010 despite the fact that most of them had anti-malware software installed. John’s advice would be to “buy a Mac,” but is that really a viable solution? (Hardly.)

The stats, put together by Eurostat, shows that the country reporting the highest percentage of infection is Bulgaria, home of Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov. A whopping 58 percent of users there reported malware infection last year. Follow that with Slovakia (47 percent), Hungary (46 percent), Italy (45 percent), and Estonia (43 percent).

One thing to keep in mind with those numbers: those are reported incidents. How many people floating around out there are infected up to their eyeballs but don’t know anything about it?

Plain ol’ malware is bad enough, but it’s an entirely different when money becomes involved, typically via phishing. Latvia says 8 percent of its internautas had lost money as a result of a phishing incident. Even the mighty UK isn’t exempt, with 7 percent of its internautas falling victim to money-losing phishing scams.

All of this would suggest a few things. One, that currently existing anti-malware software probably isn’t robust enough. Moving to The Cloud, as seems to be the trend with some of the bigger anti-malware suites, could help remedy this. Two, it suggests that people have no idea how to use the software. “Ugh, this firewall keeps interfering with uTorrent, better disable it.” Bad idea, hombre! Three, it most strongly suggests that people still don’t know how to browse the Web intelligently. It’s entirely possible to browse the Web on a PC without running into malware issues. I split my time between a PC and an old MacBook and I’ve only once run into malware, and it was from my very own site. (Remember when CG was serving malware last year for a minute? It took an hour to clean out my PC. Thanks for that.)

In conclusion, let’s all stop using the Internet. It’s only going to become more dangerous. And just wait till the first big Android or iPhone bit of malware surfaces. Panic.