A majority of consumers think antivirus tools are somewhat effective, according to this study

The sheer number of cybersecurity threats that the average person might end up facing has increased dramatically over the past few years, and that has obviously resulted in various kinds of antivirus software providers boosting their profits. It is estimated that consumers spend around $2 billion on antivirus software on an annual basis, something that has obviously turned various antivirus companies into highly profitable enterprises. However, it should be noted that the revenues for this industry in no way indicate its security moving forward.

One thing to keep in mind about antivirus software is that people are starting to lose faith in them for the most part. This comes from a survey conducted by SecurityOrg wherein 1,000 American adults were asked about their antivirus usage practices. While 77% of the respondents to this survey said that they use an antivirus software, growth rates have more or less peaked with fewer and fewer people being willing to try out a new type of antivirus if these numbers are anything to go by.

Another aspect of this data that bears mentioning is that many of the people that currently use antivirus software are likely using the free version, since 75% of them don’t plan on continuing to use one in the next six months. When this poll was last conducted in November, around 61% of users said the same. This seems to indicate that more and more users are starting to eschew the use of antiviruses and the like despite the larger number of attacks that are occurring on a day to day basis which means they don’t trust this software to protect them.

What’s more is that only 2% of users said that they started using an antivirus within the last year. That’s three whole percentage points lower than the 5% that was seen in November, and it is a strong representation of how little consumers seem to care about this type of software in general. One reason for why so many users might not think that their antivirus does all that well is that they are using the free version which offers slightly lower protection levels overall.

Paid antivirus subscriptions have been found to be around 17% more effective than unpaid versions. While this number is relatively low, it does show how free trials fail to provide users with enough incentive to pay for the software once the trial expires. This can also be seen with the percentage of paid users that said that their antivirus was very effective, 36%, compared to free users 24% of whom said the same about the unpaid antivirus software that they were using at that precise moment in time.

One factor that might impact whether or not you think an antivirus is necessary is the type of system that you use. PC users are on average more likely to think that antiviruses are effective and useful than Mac users. 70% of PC users said that antiviruses were really important to keep their systems safe which is a lot lower than the 59% of Mac users that said the same, and a similar disparity can be seen in the number of PC users that use an antivirus, 85%, and Mac users only 58% of whom use an antivirus on their computers.

Mac OS comes with a preinstalled malware removal system that might contribute to Mac users not feeling like they need an additional antivirus. Many Mac users may not even be aware that this software exists, but rather they base their lack of a desire for an antivirus on the fact that their system does not seem to get infected by them all that often. Whatever the case may be, there is a strong likelihood that the antivirus revenues could start to drop in the coming years.

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