$8.5 bln lost to viruses and spyware in 2006-2007

US consumers lost almost $8.5 bln over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing schemes. Consumer Reports estimates that American consumers have replaced about 2.1 mln computers over the past two years because of online threats. Consumers have 1 in 6 chance of becoming a cybervictim, down from 1 in 4 in 2007. Spyware and virus infections have also declined significantly over the past few years. Consumer Reports projects that problems they cause have resulted in damages of roughly $6.5 bln over the past two years. Consumer Reports also estimates that 3.5 mln U.S. households with broadband remain unprotected by a firewall.

32% of North American SMBs have been hit by cybercrime numerous times

32% of North American SMBs have been hit by cybercrime numerous times 32% of small and medium businesses in the United States and Canada have been attacked more than four times by cybercriminals in the last three years, MCAfee said. 26% of those attacked took at least a week to recover, a devastating length of time to be offline for small businesses who conduct business and sales via the Web. Recovery time in Canada was even greater, with a third (36%) taking a week or more to fully restore their systems. 44% think cybercrime is only an issue for larger organizations and believe it does not affect them. 52% of businesses believe that because they are not well-known so cybercriminals will not specifically target them. Almost half (45%) do not think they are a ‘valuable target’ for cybercriminals. 46% do not think they can be a source of profit for cybercriminals. SMBs may not be as safe from security attacks as they think. 88% of respondents believed they were ‘adequately protected,’ yet 43% of them admitted that they simply accept the default settings on their IT equipment, settings which are often not in line with their specific business needs.

66% of US employees write down passwords in unsafe places

US workers, managers, and IT staffs alike are increasingly confronted with difficulties arising from computer passwords, eMedia found. Over half of all respondents said the average employee in their firms are required to remember three to five passwords, with an additional 26% saying the number ranges from six to ten or more. 49% responded that employees are required to use passwords more than 25 times per week, with 8% stating the number of password uses exceed 100 per week. 66% stated that employees write down or store passwords in unsafe places, creating a security problem for their companies. 48% of responding IT professionals are actively seeking a reliable password management solution. While 79% of those taking the survey report that security is their number one password management concern, 39% also reported Lost Employee Productivity or Frustration as an issue. In addition, 31% said that helpdesk hours are either lost or spent in frustration by support personnel.

55% of online shoppers think about payment methods when checking out

66% of consumers surveyed by JupiterResearch prefer online stores that offer multiple payment mechanisms. 62% of purchasers feel more secure when they do not have to enter credit card information online, even at merchants’ sites that they trust. 61% of online shoppers choose sites that offer both credit and debit card payment options. 55% of consumers think about payment methods they will use before they click on the checkout button. 48% of all online adult shoppers prefer the convenience of alternative payment methods. One third of online shoppers want to avoid filling out name, address and credit card details. One in eight consumers thinks about how he or she will pay even before deciding what to buy.