Software updates are the most important security measure that users can take according to 35 percent of respondents in a survey of 231 security experts made by Google. Whereas only two percent of 294 non-experts surveyed put patching as a priority and some mistakenly worried that software updates were a security risk.
Instead 42 percent of non-experts believed running anti-virus software was a top priority, and while AV was valued by experts, only seven percent put it as a top three requirement to stay safe online.
There was consensus around the importance of passwords, but different approaches taken, with password managers used by 73 percent of experts compared to just 24 percent of non-experts reported using them for at least some of their accounts.
Experts' top five security measures:
1. Install software updates
2. Use unique passwords
3. Use two-factor authentication
4. Use strong passwords
5. Use a password manager
Non-expert users' top five security measures:
1. Use antivirus software
2. Use strong passwords
3. Change passwords frequently
4. Only visit websites they know
5. Don't share personal information
In its paper, Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices Google encourages everyone to borrow experts' top practices, and also check out its tips for keeping information safe.