Nearly Half of Americans Prefer Third-Party Antivirus Software

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03 Jul 2024

Nearly half of Americans use third-party antivirus software, while the remainder rely on the default protection provided by their operating system or have no protection at all. According to a survey conducted by, out of almost 1,000 US citizens surveyed, 46 per cent reported using third-party antivirus on their computers. More than 49 per cent used it on their PCs, 18 per cent on their tablets, and 17 per cent on their phones.

Exploring Built-In Security

Among those who solely depend on their operating system’s built-in security—such as Microsoft’s Windows Defender, Apple’s XProtect, and Android’s Google Play—12 per cent plan to switch to third-party software within the next six months. This shift indicates a growing awareness and concern about cybersecurity threats that built-in solutions may not fully address.

Paying for Peace of Mind

Of those exploring options beyond the OS, 54 per cent pay for security software, 43 per cent opt for the free stripped-down version, and alarmingly, three per cent are unsure whether they pay and need to ask that nice Russian man who installed it for them. Among paying users, Norton, McAfee, and Malwarebytes are the most popular brands, while free users prefer McAfee, Avast, and Malwarebytes in that order.

Reasons Behind the Choice

The primary reason for purchasing third-party antivirus software, cited by 84 per cent of respondents, is fear of malware. Privacy concerns follow at 54 per cent, and worries related to online shopping stand at 48 per cent. Interestingly, fear of losing cryptocurrency stored in wallets has doubled since last year’s survey, reaching eight per cent.

This data underscores the evolving landscape of digital threats and the corresponding rise in consumer awareness. As cyber threats become more sophisticated, users are increasingly looking beyond built-in solutions to safeguard their digital lives.

Update: 03 Jul 2024

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