CNET’s 2010 Top 10 Downloads Tell A Tale!

imageThis year, CNET has delivered more than ONE BILLION downloads, and recently plucked its 2010 top 10 downloads from this amazing number of served up applications. Reportedly, there are now 1.2 billion Internet users, so the CNET numbers are impressive indeed!

After reading the published list, I must admit, I was more than a little surprised. Of the top ten downloads, five are anti-malware applications.

In fact, the top 6 are:

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition – 84,317,112 downloads.

Avast Free Antivirus  – 52,648,408 downloads.

Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus – 42,165,868 downloads.

YouTube Downloader – 30,068,100 downloads. (the odd man out).

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – 25,799,006 downloads.

Ad-Aware Free Internet Security – 20,375,957 downloads.

Followed by:

Advanced SystemCare Free – 19,544,950 downloads.

WinRAR – 19,431,244 downloads.

TeamViewer – 15,722,955 downloads.

Camfrog Video Chat – 14,155,432 downloads.

I have somewhat of a problem with this list, and it’s this. Where are the productivity applications, and why are Internet security applications (a quarter of a billion downloads), so prominent on this list?

Let me blue-sky this for a moment:

It seems to me, that this list speaks more broadly to the intolerable exposure to cyber-criminal activity we now face, than any survey which tracks cybercrime, or the impact of cybercrime, on Internet users. In a sense, the CNET list is an indictment of the conditions now prevalent on the Internet.

In a relatively secure Internet environment, we should expect productivity applications to hold a prominent place in a list such as this.  After all, one benefit of computer ownership, including Internet connectivity, is an expectation of increased productivity, which might then lead to a focus on downloading applications which serve that purpose.

Undoubtedly, computer security, on or off the Internet, but especially while surfing the Net, has to be a priority. But, it appears to me, that we may well be so concerned with bolstering our anti-malware defenses, that productivity applications, and perhaps productivity itself, takes second place and gets short shift.

Frankly, I’m astonished that more Internet users aren’t asking the following questions; amongst many others?

How much longer are we prepared to put up with this “Wild West” Internet environment which leads to users installing a cornucopia of anti-malware applications?

How much longer are we expected to accept disruptive personal attacks by cyber-criminals?

How much longer are Governments going to allow organized criminal gangs to impact the daily lives of their citizens – citizens they are sworn to protect – without taking appropriate action?

If we continue to accept the status quo, we can expect that next year’s CNET top 10 downloads will be virtually unchanged.

Let’s not accept the status quo. It’s long past the time that we looked for accountability for the horrendous security conditions that exist on the Internet. It’s time to make some NOISE! It’s time to demand ACTION! It’s time to demand CHANGE!

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11 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Opinion, Point of View

11 responses to “CNET’s 2010 Top 10 Downloads Tell A Tale!

  1. kenneth lunkins

    when i was it the miltary i used to internet a great deal, but at that
    time only them and schools, researchers used it. i knew this was a wonderful thing. govt kept wraps on it like any other commuincation.
    i once ask a senior officer why can’t the public use it. his answer
    was “it would turn into choas and maddess. how and who could police
    it? we have enought problems now keeping the bad guys away from
    national secrets. what would do if it ever went public?” then along comes the invent of the pc. so it is now out of the bottle.
    at one time there was no name for hackers or spamers etc. remember
    we had to invent them. what has this to say about the nature of man(web thuggs). are we strong enought to police our own selfs yet?
    kenneth lunkins
    cleveland, ohio

    • Hi Kenneth,

      Very interesting comment – particularly “it would turn into choas and madness – how and who could police it? Looks as if that has come to pass.

      Bill

  2. Kenneth Lunkins

    bill will you took a look a my other comment. i really could
    use you help

    kenneth lunkins

  3. dar

    yup,prof Bill, this exactly what big bro wants us to demand of them:
    ‘Please protect us!
    Here ya go, take this last bastion of truth in media, the Internet.’
    – umm, all these downloads are for Windows,right?
    So why aren’t we all demanding the M$ gang’s heads for such a swiss cheese OS???
    cheers

    • Hey Dar,

      You know better than that – nowhere am I suggesting that the currency of the Internet should be interfered with in any way in this article, nor have I ever suggested such a thing.

      Civilizations, over time have developed forms of governments, that in most cases provide protection, where it’s required, that the populace acting individually can not provide. Governments worldwide, as a matter of course, have set up Fire and Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Agencies, Military Forces, and so on, to protect their citizens, based at least partially on that reality.

      The dangers that the Internet poses to individuals need to be viewed in that light. The cyber-criminal forces on the Internet, arrayed against individuals, are far outside the ability of any single person to deal with effectively. It seems to me, that governments have both a legal, and moral obligation, to get off their collective asses and do something.

      Blaming Microsoft for cyber-criminal activity is disingenuous and factually incorrect. Microsoft doesn’t create criminals. I’m a Linux advocate, but that doesn’t mean I’m unaware of the fact that the recent Gawker fiasco occured on Linux servers. Should I blame Linux for that – or, the cyber-criminals?

      Bill

  4. Cappydawg

    Bill,
    I agree, the internet was not meant to be harmful, it was develop to enjoy and learn from it. All you hear read these days is the crimes that are happening on it. And all we worry about when we jump on the net (at least I do) is this site ok to go to, do I have enough security on my machine to look at my bank acct. and so on and so on. Things have become so complicated anymore. I don’t think the developers of the net thought this would be so out of control. I guess it is up to us (your readers) to make sure others that are not aware of the dangers of the net be taught and shown what can really happen.

    • Hey Cappydawg,

      What I find most disturbing is, most people believe there’s nothing to be done to address cyber-crime. We’ve been conditioned to accept massive criminal behavior on the Internet as the norm. Yet, we don’t accept criminal behavior in our schools, in the workplace, on our streets, or in our neighborhoods. We know we can take action to reasonably ensure our safety in these areas. Forcing governments, at every level, to focus on community safety, has always paid dividends.

      The Internet, despite the baloney force fed to an undereducated public, can be made a relatively safe place. It will never happen of course, until we force accountability on those that are positioned to institute change.

      Bill

  5. Cappydawg

    Bill,

    I agree with you totally. The internet is another place that should be on the list of another “crime area”. Just because we cannot physical step on it with our shoes it is a growing crime area and there is much need for the “powerful ones” to step up and take notice.

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