More than half (55 per cent) of the personal computer (PC) applications installed worldwide are obsolete, thus making the users and their personal data vulnerable to security risks, a new research from global cybersecurity company Avast said.
According to Avast's "PC Trends Report 2019", users are making themselves vulnerable to hackers by not implementing security patches and keeping outdated versions of popular applications on their PCs. The applications where updates are most frequently neglected include Adobe Shockwave (96 per cent), VLC Media Player (94 per cent) and Skype (94 per cent).
"Most of us replace our smartphone regularly, but the same cannot be said for our PCs. With the average age of a PC now reaching six years, we need to be doing more to ensure our devices are not putting us at unnecessary risk.
"With the right amount of care, such as cleaning our hardware's insides using cleaners, optimisation and security products, PCs will be safe and reliable for even longer," Ondrej Vlcek, President, Avast, said in a statement.
The report, which used anonymised and aggregated data from 163 million devices across the globe, also found that Windows 10 operating system (OS) is now installed on 40 per cent of PCs globally, which is fast approaching the 43 per cent share held by Windows 7.
However, almost one in six (15 per cent) of all Windows 7 users and one in 10 (nine per cent) of all Windows 10 users worldwide are running older and no longer supported versions of their product.
Running out-of-date OS puts them at risk from vulnerabilities and other significant security issues, noted the global cybersecurity firm.