You can’t say it often enough: obsolete software opens the door to hackers on your devices and personal data. Even so, many PC users often ignore important security updates, as the Avast PC Trends Report 2019 shows.
We will tell you which old versions of software are most often used.
Security updates – an annoying evil?
Both operating system manufacturers and software vendors regularly release security updates for their products. In view of the ever-increasing threat of computer viruses and other malware such as ransomware Trojans or smartphone malware, this also makes sense, because the security patches fix critical security gaps.
But instead of installing the updates directly, many PC users ignore the available updates. Avast’s PC Trends Report 2019 shows that outdated software is currently being used on around 55 percent of all PCs – and the trend is rising. By comparison, in 2017, it was “only” 48 percent. For the Avast PC Trends Report, security vendor Avast analysed the anonymous data from the Automatic Software Updater, which collected the data on more than 163 million devices worldwide.
Security updates for Adobe Shockwave are often ignored
The longer you use your PC or laptop, the more software you will install over time. Ideally you should update all these programs if there is a new update for it. Nevertheless, as the PC Trends Report 2019 shows, there are certain software programs that users often continue to use in an outdated version.
The front runner is Adobe Shockwave, which is installed on 96 percent of PCs in an old version. In second place follows the popular VLC Media Player , and Skype is in third place. It is also because of these programs that security updates are often not installed or only after a long time, because it is often not apparent in these programs that an update is available. However, many users also stick to an old software version out of habit, for example because the new version lacks important functionalities.
Missing security updates make computers vulnerable
In most cases using an old software version is problematic because it makes your computer vulnerable to hackers. Security updates ensure that security holes are closed and hackers can no longer exploit them.
So, if you intentionally ignore security updates, you become vulnerable. You can find out whether your PC or notebook is protected in the best possible way with a security check from your TrustATec partner on site. .
Windows versions are often outdated
It’s not only software that has many outdated versions. The PC Trends Report 2019 also provides information about the distribution of the individual Windows versions. The current Windows version, Windows 10, is currently installed on 40 percent of devices, Windows 8 on only twelve percent of the devices.
But here too, it shows that many still use an old Windows version. So Windows 7 is still the most common version of Windows with 43 percent of the installations. However, the RTM version of Windows 7 has not had a security update since 2013. In addition, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows 7 in early 2020.
Just like outdated software, an outdated version of the operating system also jeopardises your PC or your notebook. You can check whether your version of Windows is up to date yourself. Read our blog post Check Windows 10 version to find out how to do this. Again, it’s best to upgrade to a recent Windows version as soon as possible . If you need help, check out your local Trustatec partner.
Which programs are particularly popular?
The Avast PC Trends Report 2019 does not only show which programs users particularly often ignore security updates for. Avast has also investigated which software programs are particularly popular with users
In the top spot is the Google Chrome browser, which is installed on 91 percent of the devices. Adobe Acrobat Reader ranks in second place with 61 percent of the installations, third place goes to the data compression tool Winrar. In general, browsers, Microsoft Office applications and media applications such as VLC Player are among the most popular programs.
Average PC is 6 years old
Not only software was the focus of Avast’s research. The Avast PC Trends Report 2019 also takes a look at the hardware. There it shows that the average PC is now six years old; In 2017, the average age was still five and a half years.
The increasing age causes the devices to require more maintenance. In particular, this includes corresponding updates such as security updates or the installation of new hardware components. The entire PC Trends Report 2019 is available for download from the Avast press site.