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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 08:20 PM
Original message
US: the costs of spam, viruses and spyware
In one of its interesting surveys, eMarketer shows the figures of the spam activity and the costs for the americans:

"Measuring spam, viruses, spyware and phishing, the consumer watchdog Consumer Reports estimated that Americans spent at least $7.8 billion for computer repairs, parts and replacement over the past two years as a result of viruses and spyware alone."(http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1005176 )

US is the first among the leading spam-relaying Countries in the world and Italy good 10th.

If phishing and other related problems - businesses and computer damaged, slower productivity...- are taken into account the loss figures may be pretty higher.

Spam is a growing business and, for now, a risk one has to run to be in connection with the world.
Provided the damage is not higher than the benefit!



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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I bet it's a lot higher than that! Much of this kind of stuff goes unreported
to anyone! Why not include what we all that we pay for anti spy ware and what about the losses from stolen ID that are exploited through identity theft!

Don't get me stated on this subject! I love a practical joke as much as anyone. I remember, about 15 years ago my MIS guy showed me how to write a short littls DOS program that made your screen go black and display a message when you typed a certain common word. Yep, I used it a couple of times, but I was always right there to calm the user down and explain it was just a joke. The AH'S that send the destructive viruses and use spyware with criminal intent should be punished severly!
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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Agreed.
The figures are surely higher. No doubt.
That kind of crimes is sort of theft, privacy violation, crime against the internet, which is a community of people - so, in a sense, a social crime!

You're absolutely right. It should be punished bitterly!
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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. A few ways to secure your system ...
Edited on Sat Jul-21-07 09:06 PM by Akoto
When I first started out on the internet, spyware and viruses just weren't a concern on the scale they are now. It's pretty unfortunate. For the uninitiated, here are some good ways to protect yourself (which I use):

1) Firewall software, which you can buy at the store. This monitors incoming and outgoing internet connections. It'll block them when appropriate, depending upon its default settings or ones that you have provided. Really invaluable as a first layer of defense. I believe any computer connected to the internet should have one of these, but surprisingly few do.

2) Antivirus/anti-spyware software. You should really have both, and run them on at least a weekly basis. I do that, and I also scan before inputting my credit card for online purchases. It's paranoid, but it's safe. I recommend Ad-Aware, AVG and/or Spybot S&D. Quality anti-spyware software can be downloaded for free, but I'd go a step further and buy a security suite. I use McAfee Security Center, which is provided by my ISP.

3) Internet browser. In my experience, Internet Explorer is one gaping security hole. Switch to something else if you can. I prefer Firefox (which is free).

4) If you download Firefox, Google the NoScript add-on and install it. This prevents websites from automatically running scripts until you allow them. That alone will MAJORLY cut down on spyware/virus infections.

5) Watch where you're going. Porn sites tend to be a common source of spyware, some of it very harmful. Peer-to-peer file sharing programs (Kazaa, Limewire, etc) are also rampant, from the downloads if not from the sharing program itself.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Thanks for posting this! n/t
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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Thanks!
I downloaded Firefox but I'm not using it yet. I suppose it's because of laziness: I've always been using IE.
But if you say it reduces risks I'll try.
I use a mobile UMTS-HSDPA connection on my laptop, firewall at standard level guard, Avira Antivir+Windows Defender as defensive walls.
Is that enough to defend me? I sometimes have the feeling of not being alone in my virtual navigation!
But perhaps it's just a fearful feeling.

Ciao from Italy!
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. S.1625
A bill to protect against the unauthorized installation of computer software, to require clear disclosure to computer users of certain computer software features that may pose a threat to user privacy, and for other purposes.

Sponsor:
Mark L. Pryor

Cosponsors:
Barbara Boxer
Bill Nelson

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:S.1625 :

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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sounds low to me.
Edited on Sat Jul-21-07 09:04 PM by deadmessengers
I work as a product manager for an information security company, and that 7.8 Billion over 2 years number seems very low to me. Hell, just antivirus software is a $2.5B/yr market, and that's just scratching the surface. My guess is that worldwide, it's somewhere around 4 times that number.
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. IOW, the cost of Microsoft.
I'm just sayin'...

Use GNU/Linux

http://www.gnu.org



You'll be glad you did.

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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sure, the spammers ignore you because they...
know you have a Linux box?

I remember DOS viruses we got from downloaded programs on BBS's, but the first major worm I remember was a Unix worm that travelled unimpeded through university and government sytems for almost a year. Some knob at some computer center admitted he did it to se if it could be done, and it got out of hand.

The only reason you Linux weenies don't get viruses is because they haven't made it easy for the script kiddies. Everyone knows if Macs and Linux get serious market share they're as easy to crack as Windoze.

Like, ummm, no Apache server ever got hacked, eh?



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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. Parts replacement? OK, I know...
phishing is really bad news, and other nasties implanted in machines aren't much better, but where did they come up with these numbers?

I get all my antivirus stuff free, and haven't been hit with anything for years. Takes me minimal time to clean the machine. Spam? Even when I got a hundred a day the filters nailed them and I just deleted them. No big deal.

Personally, I find I've spent a lot more on hardware and software upgrades for the usual shit I never needed before but am stuck with-- DVD drives, infinite numbers of video and audio formats, streaming whatevers, terrabytes of software...

I'm really not doing much more than I used to do under Win95, but I'm spending a lot more just to do it a little faster.

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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I resisted upgrades until I could...
...going on with Windows 98 until I had to change PC.
My laptop had XP H.E. included in the price and a limited time version of Norton, which I don't like.
But I'm afraid to uninstall Norton. Everytime I tried in the past I had problems with stability in my system.

I must say that I don't use my laptop to monitor my current accounts or for bank operations. But people who do for a job or privately get really hurt from spyware, phishing and devils devices.

My question is: those people are surely defended by antiviruses and other defensive stuff but they get hit all the same.
Hacking know-how is better than expected, isn't it?
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