With threats online looming larger than ever before, data security is now imperative for all users, whether at home or working in an office setting. Coming to a bill of about $4 billion, Consumer Reports' Annual State of the Net Report found that about 58.2 million PCs in the U.S. are or have been infected by malware in the past year.
Another big security problem for users is the amount of phishing that has been taking place, as 9.2 million Americans said they were victims of a such an attack within the past year. The key to this has likely been the use of big names to trick people into opening emails and visiting websites, as cybercriminals used PayPal, Visa, Facebook and banks to try to trick people so they could infect their PCs. Consumer Reports said hundreds of thousands of people lost money from a bank accounts as a result of this scheme.
Facebook was issue in and of itself, as 9.8 million people had their accounts used by an unauthorized party. This has caused a lot of fake information to be placed on the social media website, as 28.5 million Facebook users changed personal information to protect their identity.
Consumer Reports also found that smartphones can be a worry for data security as well, as about 40 percent of people surveyed said they didn't even take minimal security measures, such as screen lock, data backup or a device location app to help keep their device safe.
"Last year, 5.6 million smartphone users experienced undesired behavior on their phones such as the sending of unauthorized text messages or the accessing of accounts without their permission, our survey projects," the organization said on its website. "According to experts, those are symptoms indicating the presence of malicious software."
While the rate of malware infecting these devices, 5 percent, was much lower than the 31 percent that infects home computers, Consumer Reports said it is troubling due to the fact that security infractions are becoming more common on iPhones, Androids and other devices where users seem to feel too safe for their own good. About 1.2 smartphone users were charged for calls or texts they never made and experienced harassment, data loss or identity theft after this incident. The natures of these devices may make them much harder to secure than many had anticipated, but securing smartphone devices is now a must for business.
Consumerization News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro.