Physician use of updated anti-virus software in a tertiary Nigerian hospital

  • E.P Laabes
  • DD Nyango
  • MM Ayedima
  • N.G Ladep


While physicians are becoming increasingly dependent on computers and the internet, highly lethal malware continue to be loaded into cyberspace. We sought to assess the proportion of physicians with updated anti-virus software in Jos University Teaching Hospital Nigeria and to determine perceived barriers to getting updates. We used a pre-tested semi-structured selfadministered questionnaire to conduct a cross-sectional survey among 118 physicians. The mean age (±SD) of subjects was 34(±4) years, with 94 male and 24 female physicians. Forty-two (36.5%) of 115 physicians with anti-virus software used an updated program (95%CI: 27, 45). The top-three antivirus software were: McAfee 40(33.9%), AVG 37(31.4%) and Norton 17(14.4%). Common infections were: Trojan horse 22 (29.7%), Brontok worm 8(10.8%), and Ravmonlog.exe 5(6.8%). Internet browsing with a firewall was an independent determinant for use of updated anti-virus software [OR 4.3, 95%CI, 1.86, 10.02; P< 0.001]. Busy schedule, 40(33.9%) and lack of credit card 39(33.1%) were perceived barriers to updating antivirus software. The use of regularly updated anti-virus software is sub-optimal among physicians implying vulnerability to computer viruses. Physicians should be careful with flash drives and should avoid being victims of the raging arms race between malware producers and anti-virus software developers.

Keywords: Anti-virus software; Computer security; Updates; Physicians; Nigeria


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613