Malware Infections Drop 20% During World Cup Soccer Games Worldwide
Computer malware infections drop 20% on game day in countries that are playing World Cup games: a sign that people are turning off their computers and watching the games instead. That's according to data released today by EnigmaSoft, makers of the anti-malware software SpyHunter 5.
EnigmaSoft has customers all over the world, including the countries that are playing in the World Cup. EnigmaSoft looked at malware infections reported on our SpyHunter anti-malware software installed on customers' computers since the World Cup began last month. On average, malware infections dropped 19.88% when there was a game in one of the countries studied.
"A day to day drop that dramatic can only happen when people get offline in massive amounts," said EnigmaSoft spokesperson Ryan Gerding. "We think the World Cup games are a big enough distraction to make that big of an impact."
Here's a look at each country studied, and how much malware infections were impacted on the days their team played a game.
Uruguay had the biggest game day drop, 41.39%
Croatia 28.93% drop
Mexico 23.48% drop
Sweden 21.87% drop
Belgium 21.82% drop
France 19.14% drop
Colombia 19.07% drop
Switzerland 18.25% drop
Spain 18.18% drop
Germany 17.96% drop
Brazil 17.55% drop
England 16.81% drop
The only country EnigmaSoft studied that did not have a game day infection drop was Russia. In Russia, infections actually increased 5.98% on World Cup game days.
"The drop in malware infections is only a temporary one," Gerding said. "In each country that experienced a drop on game day, infections jumped back up again to normal levels the very next day. We anticipate that as the games move through the quarterfinal rounds, the malware infections will drop even more on game day as the games become even more significant,"
Temporary drops and spikes in malware infections because of significant outside events are fairly common. EnigmaSoft data has shown that infections jump during the holiday shopping season when people spend more time online looking for deals. Infections also drop in cities that fall victim to major snowstorms as more people are shut inside their homes and spend more time online. Malware infections also have been found to drop during the Lenten season when people give up social media, online shopping, and adult websites for Lent.
Regardless of whether the World Cup is going on, there are things people should do to make sure their computers are safe.
Top Tips to Prevent Malware on Your Computer
- Regularly back up your data. Ideally, you should have a physical backup (external drive connected to your computer) and a cloud-based backup. Either way, set your computer to back up your files automatically and frequently.
- Set your computer to automatically install any operating system updates that may become available.
- Install a trusted anti-spyware/malware software. Adjust the settings of the security software so that updates are installed automatically.
- Be wary of links that are sent to you in emails or social media messages. "Think about that link"