Newsfactor Magazine Online reports that a Consumer Reports survey of 2,000 U.S. households has found that consumers paid about $7.8 billion over two years to fix or replace computers that got infected with viruses and/or spyware. This figure is down when compared to a similar survey two years ago. However, Jeff Fox, technology editor of Consumer Reports said: “There is a very high national cost to this … People think they’re invincible, even when this kind of money is involved.” The magazine found that commercial spam is the biggest security problem, but that viruses are the most expensive. Consumers paid about $5.2 billion between 2004 and 2005 to fix affected machines. Spyware infections have declined slightly over the past six months, but these infections did cause about 1 million U.S. households to replace their computers. Some experts do warn however, that people tend to overestimate financial losses in surveys such as these…

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