23 per cent of internet users are still using an old or outdated web browser

Nearly a quarter of all internet users are taking major risks with their personal vulnerability management by failing to regularly upgrade their web browsers, new research from Kaspersky Lab has found.

In a statement released November 8, the cyber security software provider revealed the results of a recent anonymous survey which found that 23 per cent of people are still using an old or outdated web browser.

Internet Explorer users were found to be the most vigilant with updating their browser, with 80.2 per cent of this group having the most recent version of IE installed as of August 2012.

Chrome users were the second most up to date of the four web browsers surveyed, with 79.2 per cent claiming to have installed the latest iteration of the Google browser.

However this group was also found to be the slowest when it comes to average length of time taken to update their browser. According to Kaspersky Lab, it takes 32 days for the majority of users to switch to the most recent version of Chrome.

But it was Mozilla Firefox users who were found to the most lackadaisical when it comes to staying on top of browser updates. Just 66.1 per cent of this group were running the most recent iteration of their browser when the survey was completed.

Despite this, the most frequently used obsolete browsers were found to be versions of Internet Explorer. Together, IE 6 and 7 users made up a total of 3.9 per cent of web goers, which Kaspersky Lab points out surmounts to hundreds of thousands of users around the world.

Kaspersky Lab director of Whitelisting and Cloud Infrastructure Research Andrey Efremov believes that the research paints "an alarming picture".

"While most users make a switch to the most recent browser within a month of the update, there will still be around a quarter of users who have not made the transition," said Mr Efremov.

"That means millions of potentially vulnerable machines, constantly attacked using new and well-known web-born threats."

Keeping up to date with software updates and patches is an important part of ensuring overall cyber security both at home and in your organisation.

As the Kaspersky Lab report points out this research should be of concern to corporations as well, as office employees are often limited in their abilities to install updates on work computers.

This means that many businesses around Australia and the world may be running obsolete software, a practice which Kaspersky Lab believes could potentially be putting them at risk.

Any organisation concerned about cyber security and wishing to do more to protect itself and the privacy and safety of its customers may want to consider undergoing a security audit to ensure all servers are secure and that relevant software is up to date

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