May 19, 2014 No Comments-
It’s normal to worry about safety when travelling abroad. You don’t know the country, so you need to know things like whether your travel insurance is up-to-date, what the emergency contact numbers are and what dangerous locations you should avoid. But you might also need to consider another factor: malware.
If you’re using an internet connection abroad, it can be hard to know if it’s secure. If it isn’t, it could transmit malware and other nasties directly onto your device.
One way to know if a country is more likely than another to give you malware is to look at the worldwide infection rates for computer viruses, to see if you’re visiting a hotbed of computational infections, or whether you’re in a low-risk area.
There are many ways to measure the number of malware infections around the world, but one of the best barometers is Microsoft’s official report. Because the majority of computers run Microsoft’s Windows operating system, the company receives a huge amount data to compile the charts from.
According to Microsoft’s latest report, most malware encounters are reported from the United States, followed by Brazil and then Germany. The complete top ten are:
However, this order is based on the total number of computers reporting malware, and not the percentage of computers that are infected. For example, the US, Germany, Japan and the UK might have reported the most malware, but that’s partially because those countries are a) quite big, b) technologically dependent, and c) quite good at reporting infections.
In actual fact, only 12 out of every 100 US computers encounter malware, while in Japan it’s as low as 8.
A better indicator is what percentage of computers in a country are infected by malware. Not surprisingly, it’s computers in countries with less developed economies that experience the most infections. Martinique tops the table, requiring virus removal from 55 computers out of every 1000 (5.5%).
Highest infection rates (by computers infected per 1,000 scans)
To put these numbers into perspective, the global average is about 18 computers per 1,000 scans, or 1.8%.
Lowest infection rates
The report also noted that, “the Nordic countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, have perennially been among the healthiest locations in the world with regard to malware exposure.” It’s nice to know Norman is doing well on its home turf!
Should this put you off travelling to these destinations? No! But it does mean that you should be aware of your computer usage in the more infected locations. For example, it’s probably best to avoid plugging a USB stick into a local computer, or connecting to unsecured wifi!
Norman Safeground Blogs Archive