This has got to be a typo:

About 91 percent of PCs today are infected with spyware programs that send information from your PC to an unauthorized third party.

NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance, not the National Center for Supercomputing Applications of Mosaic fame) Chairman Ken Watson quoted by CNET in Study: Consumers take cyberattacks lightly.

That’s a staggering number, and I hope it’s supposed to be 19. Even so, considering how many computers there are in the world, it’s still a staggering number.

Spyware, viruses and worse are out there, and they’re all over both business and home computers. It’s worth checking out the NCSA’s website,, as well as others like CERT‘s page on Home Network Security, the US-CERT website, or the FTC‘s guide to Consumer Information Security (though I can’t quite get past the turtle logo on that one).

One thought on “91% of PCs infected with spyware?

  1. I don’t think this is a typo. There are plenty of otherwise-legitimate programs out there that incorporate info-sending features but don’t tell end users about it. I recall learning that a huge number of file-sharing programs send more than just your files to more than just other users. Also, this is a really broad definition. If it’s sending your age to the CDC, under this model, it counts.

    Additionally, I have reason to believe that at least 50% of computer users are not savvy enough to either 1) avoid questionable programs, 2) know what they look like, or 3) get rid of them. Of 60-odd people in my office, I would only call 10 truly computer literate, and there are plenty who just watch the blinkenlights. Hearing this statistic after spending a day with them, I believe it completely.

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