Computer malware infections have dropped 17% in the United States since the start of the Lenten season.
That’s according to data released today by Enigma Software Group, makers of the SpyHunter anti-malware program.
Enigma looked at infections detected on its customers’ computers since Lent began on February 14th and compared those infections to the month leading up to Lent.
The experts at Enigma think part of that decrease could be due to people reducing the time they spend on their computers during Lent.
“It’s very common for people who participate in Lenten activities to curtail usage of things like social media and technology in general in the weeks leading up to Easter,” said Enigma Software Group spokesperson Ryan Gerding. “They may also reduce the amount of time spent on adult web sites, which are common sources of malware infections. We think all of those activities together help to explain why infections are dropping during Lent. They dropped 14% last year during Lent, and so far this year, infections are down 17%.”
Enigma also looked at infection trends during Lent for some of the US cities with high Catholic populations to gauge the drop in infections in communities that may be more likely to partake in Lenten activities.
*In most of those cities, the drop was even larger than the national average.
—Boston’s infections have dropped 36% since the beginning of Lent
—New York’s infections have dropped 31% since the beginning of Lent
—Pittsburgh’s infections have dropped 38%
—Chicago’s infections have dropped 23%
—Philadelphia’s infections have dropped 22%
—Los Angeles’ infections have dropped 23%
—Miami’s infections have dropped 11%
—Las Vegas’ infections have dropped 21%
—Minneapolis’ infections have dropped 15%
—Milwaukee’s infections have dropped 18%
“Is the drop in infections in these cities solely because of people giving up technology for Lent? Probably not,” Gerding said. “But any time there is a change in computer habits, we generally see a change in infections. For example, during the holiday shopping season when more people are engaging in online commerce, infections jump.” If history is any guide, the drop in infections won’t last long. In 2017, infections jumped back up to pre-Lent levels within a couple days of Easter Sunday.