A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIC) has found that many of us rely on a computer for almost every day of our lives, including accessing email, shopping, and social networking.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Information Security, analyzed data from 2,722 participants from across the U.S. and found that 95 percent of respondents said they would prefer their computers to be completely secure.
“We know that computers have vulnerabilities that can be exploited in the wild,” study co-author John B. DeJong, an assistant professor in the UIUC’s School of Information Systems and Society, said in a statement.
“But there is no easy way to protect against them in the first place.”
While security is important to every computer user, it is especially important to users of the most vulnerable systems, such as those that run Windows and Macintosh, the researchers said.
A recent analysis by security researcher Michael Vadum, a former Microsoft employee who works for a cybersecurity firm called Kaspersky Lab, found that more than 70 percent of all malware attacks are aimed at the Windows platform.
As of October 2017, Windows 10 was the second-most-used operating system on PCs, behind only Mac OS X, which is the most popular operating system, according to a study by security company SecureWorks.
The researchers said that most of these attacks are targeting the Microsoft Edge browser, which has the most sophisticated features.
The research also found that there is a lot of misinformation about computer security and that some people are not aware of the security risks associated with their software.
The report found that one-third of respondents incorrectly said they had not taken the security measures listed in the security advisory, which includes the use of password managers, secure web browsing, and a user-friendly interface.
A second-highest percentage of respondents cited a lack of understanding about how to protect themselves against viruses.
“People are using software for a reason, and it’s important to make sure they are not putting their personal data at risk,” DeJung said.
“If you’re using a computer to do something else, like a job, you need that security.”
The survey was conducted online in August, and researchers asked participants to identify what factors made them think their computer had been compromised, such a a lack a password manager, or a user interface that was difficult to use.
The results showed that, in general, computers are considered to be at least somewhat secure when it comes to security.
Respondents were also asked about whether they use software to do other things on their computers, such if they surf the web or social networks, or if they use a different computer to access the Internet.
The survey found that, generally, users of Windows and Mac computers do not use software that was designed to help them avoid viruses, but rather to help protect their computers against malware.
Only 18 percent of participants said they use antivirus software on their PCs, and that number dropped to 11 percent for Windows users.
The number of antivirus programs used by Mac users also dropped, but was still high, at 43 percent.
More than half of the survey respondents reported using anti-malware software, such antivirus or anti-virus-and-malvertising software, and more than a quarter reported they use anti-spyware software on computers, but did not provide details about their software usage.
Only 3 percent of the respondents reported they did not use antiviral software.
While most of the researchers concluded that most people use their computers as they have always done, there is still a significant number of people who use software for other purposes, such use of social networking or video games.
BILL RODGERS/Associated Press