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Consumer Reports: 58 Million U.S. PCs Infected With Malware

Malware cost consumers nearly $4 billion in repairs in 2012, Consumer Reports says

The recently released Consumer Reports' Annual State of the Net Report states that a projected 58.2 million American adults had at least one malware infection that affected their home PC's features or performance in the past year.

The cost of repairing the damage from those infections was nearly $4 billion, the report says.

Consumer Reports projects that 9.2 million Americans were victims of 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 reputations harmed, or were harassed, threatened, or defrauded.

Consumer Reports projects that 28.5 million Facebook users altered personal information in their profiles 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 had been infected by malware were 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.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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