This was based on their January 2013 survey, covering experiences for American consumers in 2012. Hopefully we'll have the next year of data in a couple months (it is usually published in their June issue.
Their Lead Article was on Smart Phone security, which found:
- Half of all American homes have a Cell phone
- 7.1 Million had their phone Lost, Stolen, or Broken beyond Repair
- 69% of Americans don't back up their smart phones
- 64% do not use a password or screen lock!
- Only 8% use "Remote Wipe", 22% use a "Phone Finder", and 15% use Anti-virus
"Click to see Consumer Reports InfoGraphic"
This article -- How Safe is your Home Computer? found:
- 43% report being afflicted by "Heavy Spam"
I really want to call attention to that number, because so many of my computer security friends are calling spam a "solved problem". That is ABSOLUTELY NOT the experience of the average American. Perhaps companies using the best state of the art technology are experiencing reduced volumes of spam, but 43% of Americans report they are still experiencing "Heavy Spam!"
- 9.8 Million adults had Facebook trouble
Either accounts taken over by an unauthorized person, had their reputation harmed, or were harassed, threatened, or defrauded.
- 58.2 Million users had Malware issues
to an extent that their computer's features or performance were impacted, costing $3.9 Billion in direct repairs and clean-up costs. 5% of them had to take their computer to a third party to have it repaired! I especially like the way that Consumer Reports asks this question. We know that Symantec says 18 computers are infected by new malware EVERY SECOND with a global cost of $110 Billion per year, but the question CR asks here is "How many of those infections actually lead to a real problem for the consumers?"
- 9.2 million gave up personal data on Phishing sites
Hundreds of thousands actually lost money from a bank account as a result. Among the big-name companies whose names successful phishers used most often, according to Consumer Reports: Bank of America, Chase, Facebook, PayPal, and Visa.
This article -- Protect Credit Cards from Scams mentions that their survey found:
- Nearly 20 million credit-card fraud victims
19.5 million consumers with Unauthorized charges on their cards
CR Tip to Protect yourself: Report fraudulent charges immediately. If credit was used instead of debit on a bank card, you're probably liable for up to only $50. (That limit doesn't apply to debit charges.)
- Lost, hijacked, stolen
18.4 million consumers were notified by Companies, government agencies, or other organizations that their personal info had been lost, hijacked, or stolen.
CR Tip to Protect yourself: If notified of a data breach, use the free credit monitoring that's usually offered. Add a fraud alert to your credit reports. Close affected accounts and change passwords on others. Check for incorrect charges or withdrawals after the breach.
- Personal data compromised
10 million consumers lost money from an account (other than credit card), had personal data used for a fraudulent purpose, or had a new credit account opened in their name by an unauthorized person.
CR Tip to Protect yourself: Don't click on links or open attachments in e-mail purporting to be from government agencies. Have your bank alert you to possible fraudulent activity.