In what can be considered as a major revelation, a new research has determined that more than 70% of internet users in the United Kingdom use outdated web browsers, making them vulnerable to malware attacks.
The worldwide study conducted by Germany-based cyber security firm Cyscon GmbH states that over 70% of internet users have not updated their browsers which makes it easy for hackers and cyber criminals to detect potential 'holes' within security mechanisms.
However, Cyscon also adds that the rate of people not using updated web browsers is higher in other European countries such as Denmark (81%), Germany (80%) and Norway (79%).
To conduct the study in Europe, Cyscon GmbH analyzed the web browsers of thousands of users, and determined that people preferring to access the web via Microsoft's Internet Explorer, with outdated plugins, run the greatest risk of being exposed to malware and related scams.
Cyscon's report also states that a whopping 46% of IE users in the United Kingdom and 9.2% of global IE users are yet to update in-browser plugins.
Users accessing the internet from Safari and Opera web browsers were placed behind Internet Explorer users in terms of going online via. outdated browsers.
Internet Explorer has been found to be the 'most vulnerable' web browser during the first half of 2014.
According to the Cyscon web browser analysis, the most vulnerable plugin is Java ‒ 47% of users seemingly do not run the correct version ‒ followed by Adobe Acrobat ‒ 27% users do not run correctly installed versions.
The above statistics could potentially inspire cyber criminals to device new attack mechanisms including stronger Trojans, viruses and malware.
With an increase in cyber crimes being reported throughout the world, it is imperative for users to update their web browsers.
Outdated web browser plugins could lead to manipulation such as sudden computer shutdowns, botnet attacks, crypto trojan attacks and confidential information theft from the host computer system.
To prevent cyber crime via outdated browser plugins, internet users are advised to update their plugins more frequently. Using certain third party software also helps in detecting outdaed browser plugins.
Users across the European Union can click here to find out if they currently access the internet through outdated web browsers, and to verify whether the degree of safety in their current web browser.
To conduct the study, cyscon GmbH has not analyzed personal data of users, all statistics compiled by the company is only based on its browser check mechanism that people have made use of.