Internet security company McAfee has found something rather interesting, with a study telling them that there are more New Zealanders using security software on their PCs than Australian users.

The study analyses data taken voluntarily through millions of computers, allowing McAfee to take a gander at the security capabilities of household laptops and desktops around the world, including if they even have the software in the first place.

Some of the results are surprising, with 84.3% of Australian consumers having some form of basic security protection, beaten slightly by our neighbours from across the Pacific, with New Zealanders grabbing 85.22%.

Amazingly, 17% of the computers scanned from around the world had no form of up-to-date security software installed.

“It’s great to see that many Australians and New Zealanders are taking steps to secure their PCs, but around 15% of local users are still leaving themselves open to malware, data loss and identity theft,” said McAfee’s Michael Sentonas, Chief Technical Officer for the company’s Asia Pacific division. “These risks can be easily avoided and we want to highlight the importance of protecting yourself online so next time we can ensure that Australia and New Zealand are at the top of the list!”

While the knowledge of security and protection seems to be pretty good for computers, having the resources to protect our mobile devices seems to be pretty thin, with more than a third of those studied having zero protection on phones and tablets.

Based on the current growing threat of mobile platform security, McAfee predicts that roughly one in 20 devices will be infected within the next two years.

Security options are available for many of these devices, with Android being one of the significant platforms that is beginning to attract attention for viruses and malware.

More than that, all devices are at risk from being physically stolen, with backups of contacts, messages, photos, and other data part of the mobile security threat.

According to McAfee’s study, 27% of consumers around the world say their digital files would be impossible to restore if not backed up properly, leading to a potential loss.

“Consumers worldwide value their digital assets at more than US$37,000 with Australian consumers valuing their assets at US$20,948 (AU$21,723 at the time of this study),” said Mr. Sentonas. “With this in mind, we encourage consumers to extend protection from PCs to all of their digital devices and the data on them.”