Consumer Reports Sees ?Net Threat? Rising, But Not For Macs

Consumer Reports has folder_id=760009&ASSORTMENT;<>ast_id=333133&bmUID=1123738529881?>detailed the results of an extensive survey in which it interviewed over 3,200 American households to find the impact of viruses and spyware. While more than US$9 billion was spent over the past two years fixing problems caused by malware, the publication notes that ?Macs are safer than Windows PCs for some online hazards.?

In particular, Consumer Reports notes that 20% of Mac users have detected a virus during the past two years, compared with 66% of PC users, and 8% of them have seen a spyware infection during the past six months, compared with 54% of PC owners. Spyware has infected 50% of the respondents? computers during the past six months, with 18% of that group forced to erase their hard drives as a result.

Unfortunately, Consumer Reports? article does not delve into the fact that Mac users are largely immune to spyware and viruses. It doesn?t note which Mac OS the Mac users were running, nor does it say if those who have detected a virus or spyware infection actually had it affect their computers. A Mac user could easily receive malware from a PC user, thus detecting it during a virus scan, but not have it affect their machine.

The Mac Observer asked Consumer Reports for more detailed information and was told that ?it would be beyond the scope of the project to evaluate specific versions of each operating system. Our conclusion that Macs have been less prone to viruses and spyware is based on a nationally representative sample. Whether some versions of each platform are, and will continue to be, more secure is a matter of conjecture.?

The Consumer Reports article was originally reported at MacSlash.