New research from AVG Technologies ranks the countries where Web surfers come under attack the most. Topping the list are places such as Turkey and Russia. But the countries with the least attacks may surprise you.
A snapshot of the threat landscape by AVG Technologies named Turkey the most dangerous place to surf the Web.
AVG's analysis is based on an examination of attacks during the last
week of July. According to the company, AVG software detected attacks
against one in 10 customers browsing the Web in Turkey during that
period. Also near the top of the list were Russia (one in 15), Armenia
(one in 24) and Azerbaijan (one in 39).
The global average was one in 73 users. In the United States
one in 48 users were attacked, the same proportion as in Pakistan.
Vietnam and Laos had a slightly worse percentage, coming in at one in
42 for both countries.
"Make no mistake, analyzing virus data by country doesn't tell us in
which region users are completely safe on the Internet," blogged Roger
Thompson, chief research officer for AVG. "This is because viruses and
malware know no boundaries and don't stop at borders for Visa
authorization, but it is a useful snapshot into user behavior."
There are a number of reasons for the differences between countries, he added.
"Some of it may be down to a tendency to access semi-legal or
illegal download sites, while some of it probably is down to being less
cautious when it comes to sharing links and files online," he explained
"Another factor is the popularity of Internet cafes and people
generally sharing computers, but even in these countries, a minority of
users account for a large proportion of attacks."
On the other side of the safety scale is Japan, where AVG software
picked up attacks for one out of every 403 users. Sierra Leone had the
fewest attacks, with just one out of every 696 Web users being
hit. Other countries listed among the top 20 safest
places are Taiwan (1 in 248 attacked), Argentina (1 in 241
attacked) and France (1 in 224 attacked).
Analyzing the data by continent, AVG found the chances of being
attacked while surfing the Web in North America are one in 51, while in
Europe the chances are one in 72. The safest continents are Africa (one
in 108) and South America (one in 164).
The research should serve as a warning to anyone going abroad and using the Internet, Thompson wrote.
"If you are travelling without your computer and use a public
machine or borrow a friend or colleagues, ensure that when accessing
Web-based services like e-mail, that you log out and close the browser
when you have finished your session and that you don't agree to store
any passwords or log-in information on that machine," he blogged.