Tuesday, 08 September 2009 08:50

The first national computer complaints summary

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According to a leading home PC support organisation, viruses and other malware are the leading cause of callouts in Australia.  Are we surprised?

Whilst not offering any insight into whether customers were actually protected by a suitable anti-virus system, analysis of call-out data by Geeks2U showed that 27 percent of all calls were for virus or malware afflictions.

Geeks2U is Australia's largest provider of computer repairs and on-site technology support for home and business customers, providing Australia's only seven days a week national on-call service provider to customers in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Commencing this month, and to be repeated quarterly, Geeks2U's "Australian Computer Barometer" is based on analysis of Australia-wide call-outs as represented in their customer management system.

Citing corporate confidentiality reasons, Geeks2U would not divulge the total number of calls the data is based upon, but they did note that Macs experienced just three of all the virus / malware infections the company attended.

Interestingly, one seventh of all calls related to lost data.  Presumably this could have varied from an accidentally deleted file all the way up to catastrophic loss of a hard disk.

Looking at Operating System-focussed calls, 10 percent of all call-outs were for Vista assistance while Windows XP accounted for 15 percent.  Macs featured in a little over 3 percent of OS-based calls.

According to David Hancock, founder and managing Director of Geeks2U, "Thousands of Australians call out a geek to help them with computer trouble every month and because we are the country's largest computer support company, the information our geeks collect combines to give a very interesting picture of Australian technology use.  We plan to share that picture quarterly and will be adding more detail about our customers' network, application and hardware experiences to hopefully help Australians understand how their own use of technology compares."

The survey also notes differences in a state-by-state analysis.  Highlights include the following:

* Western Australia suffered the most from viruses

* South Australians were the most careless – 28 percent of all SA calls were for data loss, while Tasmanians were the most careful with just 5 percent of calls.

* Victorians triggered the greatest number of Mac calls.  Whether this is due to more Macs or less competence is unclear.

As successive reports are released, this will become a useful resource to track problem trends across Australia.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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