AVG security report hasn't a leg to stand on

Insecurity software outlets are supposed to encourage responsible and rational behaviour based on hard facts and safety – so why then is AVG peddling the kind of nonsense it usually derides? It has released a statement called: “New AVG Research Shows Turkey and Russia as Most Risky Places to Surf the Net”.

This is so misleading that if it was a BT advert the Advertising Standards Authority would almost definitely have a go at AVG. In the “report,” it suggests that you are more likely to be hit by a malicious computer attack or virus in certain countries over others.

Actually, the internet is without borders: we could understand if it was revealing where malicious attacks *come* from but this insinuates that you are less safe on the web if you live in, or are residing in Turkey (which got the dubious number one spot) over Pakistan which was at the number ten spot.

The fact is safe web browsing practice can be used wherever you are in the world and we think the figures are likely a combination between population numbers and density and awareness of threats online. The report says that the “first of a kind” – yeah, with good reason – AVG study “looks at the safest and most dangerous places to surf the internet for travellers.” 

It’s strange that a successful and clued up security company is spreading the kind of misinformation your mate’s un-tech savvy mum might worry about in forwarded chain emails.

TechEye talked to a security expert who did not wish to be named for obvious reasons – it’d be definite handbags at dawn: “Your location is irrelevant.  It’s where you’re looking and what you’re using that matters. It would be a shame if anyone felt that because of where they lived they had to take less care than, say, people in another country.

“I’m also a little unclear as to how AVG has collected these statistics. Are they based upon computer-using population in a particular country, or their own userbase?  Does it take into account that some people might use their computer for web-surfing much more than another – should they be given equal weight?  What about virus writers who actually use anti-virus products to see if their malware is detected or not?  Wouldn’t the results be muddied by them scanning their virus collection intentionally, or deliberately visiting malware-infected websites?

“In summary, the press release is mostly harmless fun – just so long as no-one believes it and begins to act more carelessly!”

But for a serious subject that often runs on an intricate global network behind fraud and other criminal activities, perhaps harmless fun isn’t the wisest thing to go for. Unless they were looking for some misleading coverage in The Sun, one of Britain’s most read newspapers.

Then again, we doubt the average Sun reader would say: “Ooh, Turkey? Not going there this Summer, might get a trojan.”