Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources

Print

Release Date: 05/01/2013

Consumer Reports: 58.2 Million Americans Had a Malware Infection on Their Home Pc Last Year

9.2 Million Fell Victim to ‘Phishing’ Schemes; Avast Free Antivirus, G Data Score High in CR’s Ratings of Security Software

CR June 2013 CoverYONKERS, NY — The latest Consumer Reports’ Annual State of the Net Report found 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.

Consumer Reports projects that 9.2 million Americans were victims of phishing schemes in the past year. They were tricked into submitting personal data to criminal websites that appear to be well-known companies’ sites. Among the big-name companies whose names successful phishers used most often: Bank of America, Chase, Facebook, PayPal, and Visa.

Additional findings from the Consumer Reports Annual State of the Net Report include:

  • Trouble on Facebook. A projected 9.8 million adult Facebook users had their account used by an unauthorized person; had their reputation harmed; or were harassed, threatened or defrauded. Also, several hundred thousand minors were bullied on Facebook, and at least 3.7 million preteens violated its terms of service by actively using the social network.

  • Stealthy Facebook Users. 28.5 million Facebook users altered personal information in their profile to protect their privacy, CR projects. Birth dates and names were the biggest fakes.

  • Lots of Spam. Heavy spam afflicted 43 percent of those surveyed by Consumer Reports.  

“Our Annual State of the Net Report revealed that home computers are no safer than they were last year. Effective security software, like the ones we recommend in our latest Ratings, is essential to protect against online threats,” said Jeff Fox, Technology Editor, Consumer Reports.

The full report can be found in the June 2013 issue of Consumer Reports and online at ConsumerReports.org.

Most new computers typically come loaded with an anti-malware program, usually a trial version. When that trial runs out, users are left with the choice of either paying up or making do without it. Consumer Reports’ latest Ratings of security software revealed, however, that some free products are sufficient for most users. Free software like “CR Recommended” Avast Free Antivirus and Avira Free Antivirus offer very good protection from online threats and should adequately protect all but the most at-risk Internet users.

Computer users who remotely access their files when they’re away from home will need stronger protection and should consider a pay suite like top-Rated G Data Internet Security Suite 2013. The full Consumer Reports security software Ratings are available at ConsumerReports.org and in the June issue of the magazine.

In the Consumer Reports national survey, people whose computers had been infected by malware were asked how they verify such problems:

  • 62 percent relied on antivirus software to notify them.

  • 17 percent felt they were savvy enough to verify it themselves.

  • 15 percent relied on someone else with computer expertise.

  • 5 percent used a retailer’s in-house tech support service.

Consumer Reports State of the Net Survey
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted our annual State of the Net survey in January, 2013. The findings are nationally representative of U.S. adult Internet users. Participants were 3,036 adults with a home Internet connection who were part of an online panel convened by GfK, a leading research company. From those respondents, we made national projections. The margin of error for the full sample was ± 1.8 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.   Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. 

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.