Online security company AVG have released results from a study showing what places in the world are the safest and the most dangerous to surf the web.
The data was taken from 144 countries and over 100 million PCs in the last week of July. AVG looked at the incidence of security threat that its software had to deal with during that period to calculate the results.
Turkey was the riskiest country to go online in, reporting that 1 in 10 faced an online attack. Russia followed with a 1 in 15 rate and Armenia came third with 1 in 24.
Sierra Leone was reported to be the safest, with an average of just 1 in 692 web users facing an attack online. Niger came second, with a 1 in 442 rate of attack. Japan followed with 1 in 403.
Roger Thompson, AVG spokesperson, attributed Japan’s high level of internet protection as a reason as to why it ranked highly. “If you look at Japan… a country where both Internet use and broadband protection is very high – our software only picked up a web attack for every 403rd user," he said.
"Our take on this is that Japanese web surfers are generally more aware of safe and risky surfing behaviours.”
North America was noted as the riskiest continent overall, where 1 in 48 users had to deal with an online attack. Europe came in second with a 1 in 72 rate of attack.
The second safest continent was Africa, recording a 1 in 108 chance of attack. Seven of its countries made the top ten safest countries list.
However, it was South America that was listed as the safest continent overall, reporting just 1 in 164 users experiencing an online attack.
Within western Europe, the results were mixed. UK had a 1 in 63 chance of attack and Germany’s chance was 1 in 83. France made it to the top 20 safest countries list, with only 1 in 224 experiencing an attack.
Globally, the average was recorded at 1 in 73
Thompson emphasises that this study should be taken into consideration before travelling abroad.
“If you are travelling without your computer and use a public machine or borrow a friend or colleagues, ensure that when accessing web -based services like email, that you log out and close the browser when you have finished your session,” said Thompson.
“If you are taking your laptop with you ensure you have backed up your data and removed any sensitive information from your machine.
“Finally the key point is that all these web attacks were successfully caught and stopped by ourselves. Even the global average of facing a 1 in 73 attack on any given day does not present great odds if averaged out across a year. Hence the importance of making sure that your computer really does have the right anti-virus software installed,” he said.