Malware Costs Consumers $4B a Year

Thursday, May 2, 2013 @ 04:05 PM gHale


When it comes to malware protection, it seems 58.2 million American adults have at least one malware infection that affected their home PC’s performance in the past year, a new report said.

On top of that, the cost of repairing the damage from those infections came in at nearly $4 billion, according to the Consumer ReportsAnnual State of the Net Report.

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While this report just gives a perspective from a consumer’s point of view, if the costs and infection rates are this high at home, the losses and bugs hitting the manufacturing automation arena could be that much higher.

At least 9.2 million Americans fell victim to phishing schemes in the past year. Among the big-name companies whose names successful phishers used most often: Bank of America, Chase, Facebook, PayPal, and Visa.

A projected 9.8 million adult Facebook users had their accounts used by an unauthorized person; had their reputation harmed; or ended up harassed, threatened or defrauded, the report said.

Consumer Reports said 28.5 million Facebook users altered personal information in their profile to protect their privacy. Birth dates and names were the biggest fakes.

Heavy spam afflicted 43 percent of those surveyed. “Our Annual State of the Net Report revealed that home computers are no safer than they were last year,” said Jeff Fox, technology editor for Consumer Reports.

The issue also includes ratings of antivirus software. In the Consumer Reports national survey, people whose computers suffered infection by malware ended up asked how they verify such problems. Sixty-two percent relied on antivirus software to notify them; 17 percent felt they were savvy enough to verify it themselves, and 15 percent relied on someone else with computer expertise.



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