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Users Lost $7 Billion in Past Two Years to Cybercrime

US consumers lose $7 Billion in the last two years to viruses, phishing schemes, and spyware, as per the reports of Consumer Report's latest "State of the Net survey". The survey was based on a sample of 2,000 US households with access to Internet. It revealed that 25% users are attacked online, which shows a decline from last year (2006). Viruses, phishing attacks, and spyware are some of the techniques that make the Internet unsafe.

The Reports show that 30% of the participants of the research had a computer virus infection. Cyber criminals cannot just steal money or personal data; they can also install harmful viruses on the PC which can control the system.

Technology editor of Consumers Reports, Jeff Fox, said that their survey discloses around 17% users who don't have anti-virus software in their system. And the people, who have an access to anti-virus software, didn't think before clicking on an attachment, according to news published by Komotv on August 6, 2007.

Further, the phishing attacks duped about 8% of survey participants at the cost of $200 per incident. Viruses and spyware emerges as the important drivers of computer sales. As per the report, over the last two years (2005-2007), virus infections made around 1.8 Million households to replace their PC. And from the past 6 months (Feb 2007-July 2007), spyware infections were successful in prompting around 850,000 households to replace their PC.

The Reports also gives information on the crimes taking place on US social network sites. In spite of all the actions taken by the US social sites like Facebook and MySpace to restrict their services to 14 and above, houses with minor online claims that 13% of children registered under MySpace are under 14 and 3% are under 10 also.

The inability of social sites to restrict their services goes hand in hand with the inability of many guardians to limit their connections of net. Around 33% of survey participants did not have anti-virus software and the reports have accounted that 3.7 Million households having US broadband don't have a firewall.

Finally, the Consumer's Reports suggested that one should install the anti-virus software and should frequently update them to escape all types of viruses and phishing attacks.

Related article: Users Making Opening Online Accounts To Identify Thefts

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