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Consumer Reports has come out with the results of their latest "State of the Net" report which surveyed over 2,000 online households to look at the impact of spam, viruses, phishing, and spyware.
According to the report -
The good news: Spyware infections dropped among respondents to the survey.
The bad news: The chances of consumers becoming infected with spyware are still 1 in 3, with 1 in 11 of those surveyed reporting major, often costly problems due to spyware.
Why is this significant? It's not just about the staggering economic fallout of spyware (which, according to the survey is estimated at $100 per incident, totalling at $1.7 billion!). The more important issue is that a little prevention and awareness goes a long way when you're online.
"Thirty-three percent didn't use software to block or remove spyware, which would help to stop identity theft. Most households had installed a firewall, which keeps out hackers. But based on our survey, we project that 3.7 million U.S. households with broadband still lack a firewall," Consumer Reports' overview of the survey says.
Everyone with an Internet connection knows that cyber criminals are constantly looking for new ways to get us to fall for their scams. Updated security software - anti-spyware software, anti-virus software, and a firewall - is a must for every computer user. Not to mention, keep your eyes open when you're surfing the Web or downloading software!