In this report
The recession connection
Social networks
Phishing costs millions
Online shopping dangers
Corporate culpability
Federal and state action
State of the Net 2009
Just in the past year...
5 ways to stay safer online
Also in This Issue
This article was featured in the June 2009 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

State of the Net 2009

Last reviewed: June 2009

This article is the archived version of a report that appeared in June 2009 Consumer Reports magazine.

Net threats are almost as prevalent today as when we first conducted our survey five years ago, costing consumers billions in damages. The number of U.S. phishing attacks has increased significantly since last year, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

  Spam Viruses Spyware Phishing
  The incidence of heavy spam is as high as last year. The frequency is the same as in last year’s survey. 545,000 households had to replace computers in the past six months. 34,758 attacks in December 2008 alone.
National incidence 1 in 3 had heavy levels of spam. 1 in 7 had serious problems. 1 in 12 had serious problems. 1 in 90 lost money.
Total damage N/A $5.8 billion $1.7 billion $483 million
Source: Consumer Reports National Research Center, based on a nationally representative survey covering the previous month (spam), six months (spyware), and two years (viruses and phishing), projected to 87.2 million Internet-using households (source: eMarketer). Total damage is estimated using the average cost within the time period noted. Source for number of phishing attacks: Anti-Phishing Working Group.