Net Threats Worsen

Computers across the country are under seige.

Consumer Reports says it's costing people billions of dollars a year.

Steve Dicosola is a computer repairman who's heard it all.

And unfortunately for his customers, Steve's business is thriving. Consumer reports' computer expert, Dean Gallea says online threats are worse than a year ago.

You face threats today from email, from web surfing, from file downloads, from instant messaging. So you have to work harder than ever before to keep your computer safe.

Viruses and worms alone have caused more than 5 billion dollars worth of damage. Phishing is also on the rise. It's where fraudulent emails. that look legit, are sent to you asking for financial and personal information to rip you off.

The only way to safely update an account is to type the address directly into the browser. Another online

The bottom line, Consumer Reports says beware while browsing. Steer clear of free downloads of screen savers, games, and music.

Use passwords that are at least 8 characters long with a number. And if you have a broadband connection, turn your computer off when you're not using it. That's advice Steve gives his clients, so hopefully they won't have to call him anytime soon.

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