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Consumer Reports: U.S. Consumers Lost Nearly $8.5 Billion to Viruses, Spyware, and Phishing

U.S. consumers lost almost $8.5 billion over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing schemes according to latest projections from the Consumer Reports State of the Net survey. Additionally, report estimates that American consumers have replaced about 2.1 million computers over the past two years because of online threats. Survey has also reveals some hopeful signs such as declining chances of becoming a cybervictim—consumers have 1 in 6 chance of becoming a cybervictim, down from 1 in 4 in 2007.

Other findings include:

Spam: One in three survey respondents reported heavy levels of spam. One of the newest types, cell-phone spam, is a minor nuisance to most online homes. 1.2 million people nationwide are estimated to have received more than 25 such messages each during a recent six-month period.

Viruses: The rate of serious virus problems has declined 32% over the years however 19% of respondents reported that they didn’t have antivirus software on their computer.

Spyware: One in 14 respondents reported a serious computer problem as a result of spyware, compared to 1 in 6 respondents in 2005. In the past six months, 566,000 households replaced computers due to spyware infections.

Phishing: Over the past two years, about 6.5 million consumers, or roughly 1 in 13 online households, gave phishing scammers personal information. 14% of them lost money. Consumer Reports estimates that American consumers lost about $2 billion to phishing scams.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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