Quarter of Brits hit with virus in past year

Almost a quarter of internet-connected Britons have suffered from a virus attack in the past year, according to astonishing new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Quarter of Brits hit with virus in past year

Asked if their computer had been affected by a virus in the past 12 months, 23% of respondents claimed it had.

Security experts claim the relatively high figure could be explained by people confusing viruses with general computer faults. “This survey opens up a lot of questions,” says Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. “How do they know they had a virus? Is it because they lost a file?”

“Lots of people can blame a virus for things that go wrong on their machines,” she adds.

Even still, Theriault claims the figures aren’t beyond the realms of possibility. “The figure isn’t unbelievable. People are still clicking on a lot of unsolicited email and visiting unknown websites. There are a lot of threats out there.”

Yet, despite the alarming frequency of virus attacks, Britons remain remarkably blasé about protecting their own PCs. The Office of National Statistics claims that just under half of internet users have never or hardly ever backed-up their PCs. Only a fifth claim to back-up their system routinely.

Click here for more on the Office of National Statistics survey.

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