A quarter of North American computer users have a Microsoft security program
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A quarter of North American computer users have a Microsoft security program

According to one recent report, more than a quarter of the computer users in North America leverage Microsoft Security Essentials to better protect valuable data and backup information.

The recent report from Opswat revealed that Microsoft's programs made up 25 percent of the market share, a 7 percent increase from six months before. Part of the reason for the popularity of this system is that it doesn’t charge users a fee in order to run the security scans.

Those who helped conduct the study said that while some users chose to pay for security initiatives, most people looked for a free option to try first.

"As in past reports, free AV products have been leading in the worldwide and North American markets," said Jeff Garon, director of marketing at Opswat. "Many paid products made the list, but we’re seeing more and more users with the free ones installed."

Microsoft made other headlines recently when it came to security products for business users when it announced an update to its MSE program. The firm released an updated MSE 4.1 program in August that it said could be used by small business owners.