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AV Software Reduces Chance of Credit Card Theft by 50%

By - Source: MSU | B 13 comments

It is fairly common sense to assume that a reasonable presence of anti-malware software on a computer benefits data security and defends its user from data theft.

A new study conducted by scientists at Michigan State University claims that more extensive and complete protection can substantially reduce the threat of data theft. Those users who are running antivirus, anti-adware and anti-spyware software reduce the risk of credit card information theft by 50 percent.

“When you think about antivirus software protecting you, you might think about it keeping your files safe and not losing your music and photos,” said Thomas Holt, MSU associate professor of criminal justice and lead researcher on the project. “The important thing we’re finding here is that it’s not just about protecting your files, but also about protecting you economically – about reducing your chances of being a victim of identity theft.”

About 15 percent of more than 600 respondents in a survey said that they experienced some form of computer-related identity theft over the past year. Males were more likely to be victims than females and those users who engaged in downloading pirated music as well as pornographic images were a greater risk to be attacked.

Holt, however, noted that “you have a much better chance of not getting your credit card number stolen if you have all three forms of protective software."

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  • 10 Hide
    memadmax , March 20, 2012 3:57 PM
    The human factor is the weakest link in any security scheme.
Other Comments
  • -6 Hide
    Chainzsaw , March 20, 2012 2:39 PM
    ^-- I agree greghome.

    I know of a person who used a computer who got infected with I SECURITY. Dumb enough they entered their CC info to download the antivirus....

    I hope that person got what they deserved for blindly entering their CC info!
  • 3 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 20, 2012 3:24 PM
    There's also one step that I consider essential - don't leave credit card info in store sites like Amazon and others just because the site says that it is convenient. IMHO, that is inviting theft.

    In all the time I've been running all this stuff that this researcher says to run, it has not caught one single instance of any threat simply because there have not been any. Threats are pretty easy to avoid, IMHO, and reports like these just amp up the fear factor, IMHO.
  • 5 Hide
    dgingeri , March 20, 2012 3:49 PM
    wiyosayaThere's also one step that I consider essential - don't leave credit card info in store sites like Amazon and others just because the site says that it is convenient. IMHO, that is inviting theft.In all the time I've been running all this stuff that this researcher says to run, it has not caught one single instance of any threat simply because there have not been any. Threats are pretty easy to avoid, IMHO, and reports like these just amp up the fear factor, IMHO.


    Really, most people aren't smart enough to avoid falling into these types of things. They run into them all the time. AV programs are for them.
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 20, 2012 3:50 PM
    ^ Agreed wiyosaya. Saving credit card information in autofill forms or providing it to be saved to a website simply invites more opportunities to be exposed to fraud.
  • 3 Hide
    festerovic , March 20, 2012 3:56 PM
    AV programs haven't saved me from getting viruses, but they did work to get rid of them. I stay safe now with Ad block plus. Haven't had a virus for many years.
  • 10 Hide
    memadmax , March 20, 2012 3:57 PM
    The human factor is the weakest link in any security scheme.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 20, 2012 4:29 PM
    wiyosayaThere's also one step that I consider essential - don't leave credit card info in store sites like Amazon and others just because the site says that it is convenient. IMHO, that is inviting theft.In all the time I've been running all this stuff that this researcher says to run, it has not caught one single instance of any threat simply because there have not been any. Threats are pretty easy to avoid, IMHO, and reports like these just amp up the fear factor, IMHO.


    i leave them in those sites, mainly because they have to be hacked to get the full card, and if they just purchase off amazon, than i have proof i didn't order it, and am not responseable.

    cc theft is not the same as identity theft, i so despise social security numbers, wish they were an opt in thing.
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 20, 2012 4:48 PM
    greghomeThis is like saying using condoms reduces the chances of having babies......Besides, what good is all those anti-virus software, if your average user is dumb enough to fall for phising scams?


    Or if they run McAfee 2006 OAS (discontinued by now) and use unsecured wireless connection because the $10 router doesn't have the processing power to support any encryption?
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , March 20, 2012 4:48 PM
    Does that halve the threats of loosing my card in the cloud as well? /end sarcasm. Frankly i'm more afraid of the big corps clouds who gets hacked over and over than my own security nowadays. Its not hard to figure out why they get hacked again and again, its not clever to collect all the eggs in one basket because its easier to manage and hampers piracy at the expense of peoples data security. As long as they get hacked its proof enough for me that they aren't ready to run a cloud service with MY data in it!
  • 2 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 20, 2012 5:25 PM
    alidani leave them in those sites, mainly because they have to be hacked to get the full card, and if they just purchase off amazon, than i have proof i didn't order it, and am not responseable. cc theft is not the same as identity theft, i so despise social security numbers, wish they were an opt in thing.

    Speaking from real life experience, if anyone gets your CC info, they will almost certainly use it at a site that is a favorite of theirs, not yours. In my instance, Mac Mall was one - I never shop there. Got full delivery info and turned it into the Secret Service. Luckily, it was a debit card and my account was overdrawn. :) 

    I caution against being overconfident. I delete my card info from sites, and somehow, it still got out.
  • 5 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 20, 2012 5:32 PM
    memadmaxThe human factor is the weakest link in any security scheme.


    "Well, our credit card or social security info hasn't been stolen yet, so why upgrade our perfectly good McAfee 2006 AV software and add a password to our wireless router?"

    -My dad
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 20, 2012 6:00 PM
    wiyosayaSpeaking from real life experience, if anyone gets your CC info, they will almost certainly use it at a site that is a favorite of theirs, not yours. In my instance, Mac Mall was one - I never shop there. Got full delivery info and turned it into the Secret Service. Luckily, it was a debit card and my account was overdrawn. I caution against being overconfident. I delete my card info from sites, and somehow, it still got out.


    from my understanding, if its possible that a credit card is compromised, we have always gotten a new number free.

    and from my understanding on law, any fraudulent purchases are not your responsibility. if they only have the creditcard, thats not hard to get out of, however, if they have your ss number, it could be years if ever that it gets wiped from your record.
  • 2 Hide
    thrasher32 , March 21, 2012 1:42 PM
    So even after installing antivirus/anti-malware software, I still have a 50% of someone stealing my credit card info?

    Why doesn't that give a warm fuzzy feeling inside?