Monday, August 04, 2008

Online Threats Cost Consumers $8.5 Billion Over Last Two Years

Thomas Claburn writes on InformationWeek:

Consumers have lost almost $8.5 billion over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing attacks. But computer security problems have been good for the computer business -- consumers replaced some 2.1 million computers due to malware infections.

Consumer Reports published these findings in its September issue as part of its annual State of the Net survey. The data is based on a survey of 2,071 online households conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Among other notable data points: consumers have a 1 in 6 chance of being victimized by cybercrime, down from a 1 in 4 chance in 2007; 19% of respondents said they didn't have anti-virus software on their computer; and 75% of respondents said they didn't have an anti-phishing toolbar.

Consumer Reports also lists what it considers to be the seven most common online blunders. These include failing to keep anti-virus software up-to-date; clicking on e-mail links to access financial Web sites; using a single password for all online accounts; downloading free software; assuming that Macs are safer than Windows PCs; clicking on "scareware" pop-up ads that claim your computer is at risk; and shopping online without taking extra precautions.

More here.


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