Computer Crime Research Center


Viruses cost us $5.2 billion

Date: August 17, 2006

According to Consumer Reports' third annual State of the Internet survey, it found over the last two years Americans have lost approximately $8 billion at the hands of computer viruses, spyware and phishing scams.

"The breakdown is, for viruses, consumers lost about $5.2 billion, and that's really for replacing computers, hiring tech support people to fix their computers, and that kind of stuff," said Jeffrey Fox of Consumer Reports. "When it came to spyware they lost about $2.6 billion recently, and that again is really to get their computers fixed or replaced. It's a little different with the email scams, these phishing scams. These losses are generally when people take money out of your accounts."

And though the scams are all getting more sophisticated, the report also partially blames us. Despite dozens of pleas from folks like your friendly neighborhood tech reporter, 20 percent of households still aren't using antivirus software, and 35 percent aren't using any anti-spyware utilities.
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