This 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.
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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