Trends Report

Consumers Turn To Freeware As Their Security Worries Deepen

Consumers Are Getting More Security-Savvy, More Concerned, And Less Trusting

July 6th, 2009
Jonathan Penn


To understand the state of consumers' attitudes and behavior with regard to online security and privacy and how it is changing, Forrester recently surveyed more than 4,600 online adults in North America. We found that consumers' worries about malware, ID theft, and compromise of personal data continue to run high. The fact that they are adopting more computer security solutions does not seem to have quelled these concerns. In other words, consumers view computer security measures as necessary and multifaceted — but not wholly effective. The survey also reveals consumers who are more willing to engage in finding the best security solutions for themselves. They are assuming some of the responsibility for safeguarding their accounts, identity, and information assets, while becoming less trusting of businesses in exercising the requisite care to protect their data. All of these trends serve to stoke the rise in the adoption of security freeware: Consumers are finding that nothing offers complete protection, and they are turning to particular freeware solutions that they feel offer comparable security to commercial products even if there are other tradeoffs.

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