There's A Rather Adult Reason Computer Virus Infections In The US Drop Off During Lent

Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons / Yuttanas / Shutterstock / IFLSceince.

Sometimes, computer viruses are affected by things you wouldn't generally think of. Some are more obvious than others. For example, their spread is indirectly affected by the weather due to people staying indoors and using their computers more during the cold weather. During blizzards in the US in 2016, infections spiked as scammers targeted the increase in people online.

You wouldn't, however, expect them to be affected too much by religious holidays. We can't think why infections would peak during Holi or trough during Christingle. However, during Lent every year there are big fluctuations from normal infection rates.

In the US, during Lent so far this year, malware virus infections have dropped off by 17 percent, according to the Enigma Software Group (ESG). If you break it down by city, you see even bigger drop-offs, with Pittsburg topping the list with a whopping 38 percent drop-off during the Lenten season.

  • Boston's infections have dropped 36 percent
  • New York's infections have dropped 31 percent
  • Pittsburgh's infections have dropped 38 percent
  • Chicago's infections have dropped 23 percent
  • Philadelphia's infections have dropped 22 percent
  • Los Angeles' infections have dropped 23 percent
  • Las Vegas' infections have dropped 21 percent
  • Milwaukee's infections have dropped 18 percent 

So what's going on? Are people too exhausted from not eating chocolate to install Pirate Bay? Too full of pancakes to download any illegal copies of Shrek or Shrek 2? That might be part of the answer, but it's most likely also because people are giving up Internet porn for forty days.

Just like Jesus would have wanted.

"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," explained ESG spokesperson Ryan Gerding in a statement.

"In those cities with a higher than average Catholic population, we actually see a bit of a decrease in [computer] infections, and we think that’s because they are giving up, at least temporarily, some of the activities that could lead them to getting infections."

That doesn't sound too adult. Wait for it.

“They could very well be giving up porn for Lent," Gerding continued. "What we’ve found is that a large percentage of the malware that ends up on our customers’ computers is because they were visiting adult websites.”

The dropoff in people seeking help for malware issues usually lasts the whole way through Lent. 2017 saw a dropoff of 14 percent in people seeking help for malware infections, as people stick to their Lent promises, however, crotch-related they may be.

"And then as soon as Easter is over, it goes right back up again.”

Well, there's an Easter tradition you don't hear much about. If you struggle keeping track, it goes Palm Sunday, Easter Monday, Touch It Tuesday followed by the usual What The F*ck Is Wrong With My Laptop What Are All These Pop-Ups Wednesday.

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