There are stories about computer security in the news every day, but it can be hard to find an unbiased opinion, or even hard facts. Virus Bulletin would like to know your experiences and opinions about the topics that concern computer users. Whether you're the CEO of an anti-malware company, administrator of a large corporate network or a home user, we'd like to know about your experiences and opinions.

On this page you will find an overview of the previous polls that have run on Virus Bulletin. The current poll can be found on the right-hand side of the page.

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Previous polls

Do current laws offer enough protection for ethical ('white-hat') hackers?

Have you ever received a call from phone support scammers?

Did Microsoft make the right choices in its attempt to make Windows 8 more secure?

Is Java enabled in your web browser?

Does your company allow you to use a personal laptop/mobile device to access company resources?

Do you think the security industry exaggerates the threat of mobile malware?

The Japanese government is reported to have commissioned a 'defensive virus'. Is 'defensive' malware ever a good idea?

Eugene Kaspersky calls for an IAEA-like agency to regulate the use of cyber weapons by governments. Do you support this idea?

Global spam levels have declined in the past year. Have you also experienced this in your inbox?

This time last year everybody was talking about Stuxnet - but has the SCADA worm signalled a change for the anti-malware industry?

Are SSL certificates an adequate way to ensure secure Internet traffic?

Does your company block any social networking sites?

Do you run an anti-malware solution on your Mac?

Do you feel safe banking online?

Do you run security software on your mobile phone?

Spam levels are at their lowest since 2008. Do you think this trend will continue?

Microsoft's Scott Charney suggests quarantining infected computers until they've been cleaned and achieved a PC 'health certificate'. Should Internet access be blocked for users of infected machines?

When do you install software updates?

Should anti-virus vendors reimburse customers for damage caused by false positives?

Do you use the same password(s) across multiple websites?

Are you still running IE 6?

How do you run your anti-malware solution?

Have you ever come across a fake anti-virus product?

Would you be willing to give 1 cent to charity for every email you sent, if that would help stop spam?

Does your company have an IT security policy?

How should software and OS patching/security updates be managed?

Should Mac and Linux users be running security/anti-malware software?

Does your organization have a password policy?

How much trust do you put in the warnings that appear next to sites listed in search engine results?

Who in your company is responsible for installing software patches?

How are your spam levels compared to two months ago?

Should anti-virus software be free for personal use?

Will taking client-side security 'into the cloud' provide better security for the end user?

Will the current banking crisis lead to an increase in phishing attacks?

Have you ever been conned by a phishing email?

Is it reasonable to teach virus writing as part of a computer security course?

Have you ever actually read an End-User License Agreement?

Is 47 months imprisonment sufficient punishment for a convicted spammer?

Should AV software check search engine results for malicious sites even before the user clicks on them?

Will new browsers like Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 8 and Opera 9.5 help fight web-based malware?

When do you feel most at risk from malware and cybercrime?

What was the main reason for choosing your current anti-virus product?

Are virus-writing contests a good idea?

Should online banking customers be held liable for losses via phishing/online scams if they don't have adequate protection on their PCs?

How often do you check your spam folder for false positives?

Do you use security software on your mobile phone?

Do you ever forward chain letters?

The results of 1.3 per cent of all Google searches contain sites serving malware. Should search engines do more to prevent malicious sites appearing in their results?

Who should take ultimate responsibility for computer security?

Has your antivirus software ever produced a false alert?

Some reports suggest that less than 3% of email traffic in December was legitimate. How many spam messages get past your spam filter and make it through to your inbox?

$3.2 billion was lost in phishing attacks in 2007. Do you think this is going to be worse in 2008?

Should governments be allowed to write viruses to bug terrorists?

Has Windows Vista made the web a safer place?

Do you feel safe banking online?

Have you suffered a malware infection that wasn't spotted by your anti-virus software?

Does your company block any social networking sites?

Is it acceptable to demand money for information on software vulnerabilities?

Current poll

Should software vendors extend support for their products on Windows XP beyond the end-of-life of the operating system?


According to me, there are a huge no. of peoples those are using windows XP. I mostly see that many people prefer it and since Microsoft is disconnecting its service support to windows xp, thus i would advice users to use windows 7 & 8. Because these version of windows are having a higher security and stability than the previous one. So i would like to tell the security manufacturers that they shouldn't launch any more version of program or updates for the windows xp, as it will allow the users to use the more vulnerable windows xp.

by Tara Prasad Routray, 20 October 2013, 09:02

Windows XP is one of the most solid OS's Microsoft has ever made... I don't see why users would switch if XP is still rock solid.

That's why vendors should still support it.


by Silver_Pharaoh, 20 October 2013, 18:50

i think software vendors sould extend their support to xp that has a lot than 8 it is bad to stop supporting because Microsoft just want to kill xp user to switch either to 7 or 8

by XP Man, 29 October 2013, 11:24

Normally I'd be inclined to vote "no" to such a question.

However, given the market share, and reluctance of many users to abandon XP for various reasons (self included), my vote was yes this time.

XP does everything I need it to. I'd prefer to not have to upgrade it.

by Tarq57, 06 November 2013, 10:41

XP was a champion that held the title for years. Be that as it may, there comes a time when champions need to hang up their gloves, because someone or (something) stronger, faster and being taught to be more efficient in 'Protecting and Securing' those vital areas is a given.

My old chair, Dos,Windows 98se and XP were great. Windows 7 has proved itself and holds the title - for now. As for Microsoft's '8'- only time will tell.

R. Gillespie

by Qwintek Security and Solutions LLC, 11 November 2013, 22:56

I work at a laboratory where there are a fair amount of older PC's that came bundled with very expensive laboratory equipment (lab instrument plus interface card plus specialized software usually preinstalled on a PC). The specialized software on these PC's is touchy - we've even had OS patches break it. As a result we have these on their own VLAN behind a proxy with a small number of white-listed sites allowed. Nonetheless there is nothing preventing a virus from infecting these machines from some other delivery mechanism. Anything that can be done to keep these machines protected would be appreciated.

It's ironic that some of the most important PC's are the ones running the older versions of Windows.

by James Younger, 03 December 2013, 16:33

Companies have a duty to support older operating systems from a social

point of view. Not everyone can afford to buy the latest and greatest operating

system. Besides new releases of an operating systems are some times a

joke in terms of longevity for example Vista and are so full of bugs as to render

them totally useless. Now that XP is stable and usable are we just to junk it

and move to an unproven product. I think not release service packs it is

much cheaper and affords continuity. New is not necessarily better.

by Walter Rovina, 04 December 2013, 05:43

Yes, but just to the end of 2014. XP has a very old Internet Explorer version which doesn't use the full potential of IE Smartscreen filter. Still XP users can use the latest versions of other browsers. It also doesn't have Windows Smartscreen and after the end of March (or April i'm not sure) every exploit will not be patched. I strongly reccommend other users to update at least to Windows 7.

by Liubomir, 07 December 2013, 14:37

Yes - it keeps their users secure!!!!!!!!!

First of all there is not any secure operating system from M$.

Not anyone is able to upgrade costs, that doesnt mean only the cost operating system but also additional hardware as also business software uprades , service , time etc.

Many people dont even need software updates, only security updates.

by George Orfanidis, 16 December 2013, 10:54

MS are notorious for releasing expensive software that's not fit for purpose, for using their customers as guinea pigs to find the problems with it and for changing layouts, menus and control keys for no good reason, forcing their customers to re-learn how to drive their stuff.

If they were selling cars - most would go back for a refund and they would have gone out of business years ago.

I wonder how many wasted man-hours their software has caused to business and private individuals over the years, trying to get ancillary equipment and associated software working with their new products as well as trying to fix home goals in them, while MS got hugely rich selling newer and bigger versions of their virtual snake oil.

W2k SP4 was IMHO one of their best OSs - fairly stable but not laced with crap injected just to protect MS's IPRs - to the detriment of their customers.

Basically, by failing to support older systems, they're making a lot of perfectly good machinery redundant, forcing owners to buy ever-bigger programmes which just won't work on older machines and depriving developing countries of the opportunity to use these older machines.

This is surely an opportunity for other software vendors - by supporting older MS products - and of course the various types of Linux, they would be securing new clients, helpng the third world and improving the chances of some real competition in the OS market.

by paul, 16 December 2013, 15:32

XP works for me. I have spent the time to learn it, modify the settings, and I have macros that tweak OS features with the touch of a few keys instead of having to click through several layers of dialog boxes. I would be happy to "upgrade" if the UI stayed the same. Win7 changed familiar and frequently used features to become more cumbersome. The more "developed" the OS, the farther from the ground it gets. That is, the user is forced to connect with the OS in ways that are less and less direct. Control of the OS is now up to MS, and they determine how we want to do things. MS has the ability to keep the UI exactly the same as in XP--so why not continue to call it that. If MS needs more money (ha!), then charge a small fee for security, or have outsourced AV vendors do it. I am curious to see if oursource vendors will Open source and free software is the only way many billions of people will have access to computers and the internet, so why not support the bulk of humanity instead of the Gates Foundation's view of what is PC. (pun intended)

by Paul Erskine, 27 December 2013, 02:54

If people are still willing to use a given operating system, then it should still receive extended support. Isn't longevity a testament to an OS's stability and net worth? Apparently not.

by Cura , 07 January 2014, 18:56

It's better to move with a new system BUT also, it's necessary to have a better system with security and better for end users...

by sebphod, 10 January 2014, 22:59

I can't see how continuing to use XP after April 2014 can be unsafe. I will say that I will be doing online banking, online purchasing and anything else which is data sensitive using Windows 7 from now on. That is sensible and good practice of due diligence. For general web browsing, using Photoshop and other recreational activities, I will be using XP for sometime to come. Win 7 for business, Win XP for pleasure.

There are a lot of things that can be done to harden XP. I have used Windows 2000 then Windows XP for 13 years and have yet to experience a malware intrusion or thge effects of malware. Avast has blocked malware c.10 times during that period, none having got through.

Windows, post XP, is not nearly so pleasant to use as XP.

by Chris Thomas, 04 February 2014, 15:22

winxp needs to die and fast...

it is way past its due date and its existence only makes computers less secure...

of all the current windows versions is has the most exploits...

users should update to the latest version of windows for their own security and if they are willing maybe switch to linux for more security.

whatever the outcome, linux or win8.1, xp needs to die now.

along with vista and win7.

i dont know why M$ gives such long support to their software...

it should be: patch, update, backwards compatibility, move on. support should be five years maximum.

not even mac os and linux support their software for so long... they all want users to upgrade. how do they do that? cutting support. M$ should too

by gazmatic, 22 February 2014, 13:52

Yes - virus protection is even more critical for systems that are no longer being patched. Whilst it is impractical to provide support indefinitely, I think that software vendors should release XP-compatibe antimalware products for, say, 12 months after the end of support for XP. This gives even the most stubborn of existing users adequate time to make the transition to a supported OS. After 12 months, I doubt very many XP systems will remain, connected to the internet and used for daily purposes.

Alternatively, software vendors could maintain their software compatible with XP (even if little or no effort goes into actual XP-based testing) until such a time as they perform a significant rewrite of their software. This might actually provide much a much longer service period, at minimal expense to the vendors.

by James, 04 March 2014, 11:31

I like this app

by rajeev kumar, 04 March 2014, 11:59

We should look at this issue with an emphasis on being realistic about about what people are actually doing.

The fact is there are a zillion people still using XP on computers that won't feasibly run Windows 7 or newer. And they will continue to use XP.

Would it be better they were using newer computers with a newer OS? Of course. Just like it would be better if everyone were driving a safe and reliable car no more than 2 years old. But is that realistic? No.

So should the software vendors extend support? Of course.

by Letsby Real, 04 March 2014, 13:50

Many businesses (both small and large), local councils and members of the public are still using XP because it's stable and because they cannot afford or justify the sometimes great expense at this time of upgrading not only their software but also their hardware and infrastructure. The last time I checked, XP was still the second most popular operating system after Windows 7 with 8 and Vista trailing badly behind. Therefore, it's in everyone's interest to provide security and other support to XP while it still commands such a large market share. I even know of one supermarket where their underlying software is still Windows 3!

by Tim UK, 05 March 2014, 16:06

I just read that NCR, the biggest supplier of ATM machines here in the states, says that a whopping 95 percent of the world’s money machines are running Windows XP.

by Covington Travel, 09 March 2014, 22:11

Unless the user is on Windows 95/98, software on any OS should be supported for a time, say 2-3 years. Businesses are not always eager or financially capable to upgrade their OS as it usually also requires a hardware purchase as well. Your customers should not be thrown under the bus just because another company, Microsoft, decides to make a business decision. Providing your customers this time is also a positive PR for your product and may even steer more customers to your product once word is out there. This should increase your bottom line as you move towards a more modern OS. Customers have a way of remembering. They can be like elephants at times.

by Drew Dawson, 29 March 2014, 08:40

Windows XP was released in 2001. It's over 10 years old. It's dead and over. The argument that it's stable is a silly one. So was NT 4.0 and OS/2.

If you really truly hate the direction of where Microsoft is going that much you need to push off and go to Linux or MacOS now. XP is a completely irrelevant OS now days.

by Shawn Rapp, 30 March 2014, 17:02

Shawn Rapp; But what if you just bought very expensive hardware only supporting XP? Most specialist hardware does just that... Oke most of those arent connected to the internet but some support would be nice. And the same for NT4, a milion dollar machine cant be trown away because the os is out dated, not as long there isnt a good replacent for the hardware or software that is.

by Remco, 16 April 2014, 09:32

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