Advanced computer users are more likely to fall victim to fake virus alerts and install rogue anti-virus (AV) applications, according to a study by security firm Webroot.
The survey of 1,200 users, across a range of ages and IT aptitudes, found that advanced users clicked on suspicious messages 13% more frequently than less capable users.
According to Webroot, nearly half of the infections reported across the survey sample were consistent with those of a fake alert-related malware installation.
The firm attributed this to a rising number of bogus AV ads appearing on legitimate websites, and the increasing propensity for fraudulent links to appear in the first page of search results.
One in five respondents erouneously believed the sites that appears on the first page of search engine results are trustworthy, while 69% were altogether unaware of the rogue AV program scam, in which hackers advertise fake – and malicious anti-virus software. One fifth claimed to have suffered financial or data loss as a result of an infection.