Research shows most risky places to surf the net

Where in the world are you most likely to be hit by a malicious computer attack or virus?

According to the results of AVG Technologies’ first ever Global Threat Index, it’s the Caucasus region, with Web surfers in Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan all being the most likely to face threats while online.

At the other end of the scale, some of the world’s safest surfers can be found in Japan, while surprisingly, seven of the 10 safest countries in which to surf the Internet are in Africa. As a continent, South America ranks as the safest place to surf the Web and North America the riskiest. Globally your chances of being attacked while online on any given day are 1 in 73.

The AVG Global Threat Index is developed by AVG Threat Labs and measures data from AVG’s vast user network, spanning 100 mn PCs in 144 countries. The data enables the AVG Threat Lab to look at the incidence of security threats that its software had to deal with. From these figures, AVG Threat Labs was able to determine an average for attacks per user per country.


Key results
Turkey leads the league table for risky surfing, with AVG’s software having to step in to protect on average, one in 10 users of the Internet. Web users in Russia (1 in 14 were hit), Armenia (1 in 24), and Azerbaijan (1 in 39) also suffer high rates of attacks.

Other areas where Web surfers are disproportionately at risk include Bangladesh (1 in 41), Pakistan (1 in 48) and in Vietnam and Laos in Southeast Asia, where the chances of facing an attack are both one in 42.

What about other major Western countries? The United States ranks number nine when it comes to the riskiest places to surf the Web (1 in 48), the United Kingdom ranks 31st (1 in 63), Australia comes in 37th (1 in 75) while Germany comes in at number 41 (1 in 83).

Sierra Leone had the fewest attacks with, on average, one in 692 Web surfers facing an attack. Niger also fared well, with just one in 442 Web surfers on average experiencing an attack. It is important to note however that these countries have a low level of internet access, with low broadband penetration.
It is because of its high internet use and broadband penetration that Japan, where there is an average of just one in 404 facing an attack, is arguably the safest place to surf the net.

Meanwhile Taiwan (1 in 248 attacked), Argentina (1 in 241 attacked), and France (1 in 224 attacked) all came in the top 20 safe list.


South America and Africa ‘safe’
Analysing the data by continent, your chances of getting attacked while surfing the Web in North America are 1 in 51, in Europe 1 in 72, while in Asia (including Asia Pacific) 1 in 102. The safest continents are Africa (1 in 108) and by a large margin South America (1 in 164).
While African countries make up seven of the top 10 ‘safe surfing’ list, it’s noteworthy that the chances of being attacked in all South American countries are more than 1 in 100. The riskiest country in South America was Peru at 1 in 131, which globally still only ranks 78th out of 142 countries.
Risky Surfing - the top 10 list (the chances of getting attacked, 1 in X)

1 - Turkey 1 in 10 
2 - Russia 1 in 15 
3 - Armenia 1 in 24 
4 - Azerbaijan 1 in 39 
5 - Bangladesh 1 in 41 
6 - Laos 1 in 42 
7 - Vietnam 1 in 42 
8 - Portugal 1 in 43 
9 - USA 1 in 48 
10 = Ukraine 1 in 48 
10 = Pakistan 1 in 48 

What are the average chances of getting attacked, by continent?

Globally - 1 in 73 
North America - 1 in 51 
Europe - 1 in 72 
Asia (including Asia Pacific) - 1 in 102 
Africa - 1 in 108 
S America - 1 in 164

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