Is Consumer Reports insane?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Moof1904, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I just received in the mail the September issue of Consumer Reports. Their cover story is "Stay Safe Online," a compendium of tips, products, and reviews designed to assist readers in avoiding virii, adware, and spyware.

    Immediately curious to see what they said about Macs, I found a paragraph in their "Net Threat Rising: Crime abounds but you can fight back" article that talks of the Macs' susceptibility to malware versus PCs susceptibility. Quoting:

    "Macs are safer than Windows PC for some online hazards. Only 20 percent of Mac owners suveyed reported detecting a virus in the past two years, compared with 66 percent of Windows PC owners. Just 8 percent of Mac users reported a spyware infection in the last six months vs. 54 percent of Windows PC users."

    20% and 8%?!?!? Exactly who are they surveying? Am I to believe that one in five mac owners have been infected with a virus and one in eight have been infected with spyware? Everything I've heard, read, and experienced tells me these figures are insanely, obnoxiously, high. :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I have no idea what they are talking about. I do know that the average user does not know the difference from a trojan, worm, spyware, etc.

    My Aunt is not the most computer savvy person, but she definitely isn't computer illiterate either. She was getting a bunch of annoying popups just like everyone else, so I put firefox on her computer and I enabled the pop-up blocker. Well a few months later she called me up because she had this huge virus that was stealing her personal information. I got over there and ran norton, and found no virus. She told me she could reactivate the virus. I told her to go ahead and she did. She went to some website that had a pop-under and she said "Right there!! See I told you!!" Enough said about the 'Average user'.
  3. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
  4. mvc macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Or under "W" for being just plain WRONG :rolleyes:
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Depends on the definitions that their respondents considered for virus' and spyware. I am sure that in a future issue the letters to the editor will take them to task for misleading or misinterpreted data.

    I may not always agree with CU/CR; but they are by far the most unbiased review organization that I know of. Like I can trust Pop Photo or Car Trends for reviews.
  7. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000


    Jul 4, 2004
    Well, let's compare who Consumer Reports are gathering their information from and who (the other statistic providers) are gathering their information from.

    If the "other" category is Apple, than I am willing to believe that it falls somewhere inbetween.

    Either way, I tend to include personal experience. And personal experience has lead to the conclusion that despite the fact that I surf the web extensively, I have yet to have picked up a virus. I wonder how reliable the test group were/are, for both sides.

    Then again, I am very particular about what I choose to download or allow access to my HD.

    Not saying that CR is not ever wrong, but not ruling that possibility out either.
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    "Only 20 percent of Mac owners suveyed reported detecting a virus in the past two years, compared with 66 percent of Windows PC owners."

    What's so unreasonable about that? If you run a virus scanner on a Mac, it probably will detect something sooner or later, likely a something targeted at Windows in files that that originated on another machine.

    "Just 8 percent of Mac users reported a spyware infection in the last six months vs. 54 percent of Windows PC users."

    That's not surprising either. Some users insist that programs are spyware if they automatically check for updates.
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Well, CR did state that 'X percent of Mac owners surveyed' so there isn't a way to tell if they only surveyed 5 Mac users versus 150 Windows users... That is a viable point, right? Or does CR explicitly state that they survey an equal number of Mac users to Windows users?
  10. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2005
  11. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    maybe not ;they have SOME good stuff.

    Inane maybe?

    ok, I just wanted to use the word "inane"

    The whole Mac Spyware thing? Where the heck have they been? Using OS 9 and getting the few viruses for it?

    *strokes "about this mac" box lovingly. 10.4.2, how I love you.*
  12. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
  13. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I would need to see the questionaire. I am a Mac user, but have had lots of spyware and viruses, on my pc. My primary, 90%, computer is a Mac, but do have to deal with the problems of a pc.
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
  15. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Um, WHAT? There has yet to be a Mac virus released into the wild, how can one in five Mac users be infected with a virus?!?
  16. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    not exactly, there are some viruses for OS 9, but none for OS X if i am correct
  17. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    "Detected" doesn't mean "infected". Mac virus scanners generally look for Windows malware too, and they will report it even if it won't do anything to the local system.
  18. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Good points, both of you.

    So, four possibilities.

    1) Consumer reports is looking at the old, outdated OS 9.
    2) Consumer reports is counting Windows viruses that don't affect Macs.
    3) Consumer reports is being paid off by Microsoft or a Mac antivirus company.
    4) Consumer reports is insane.
  19. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    If anyone is to blame, it is the producers of virus scanning software. They don't tell the user if SuperBad42 is a threat on the local system, or something that targets other systems. There are typically links to the vendor's Web site with more details, but a normal user is just going to squeal "Ewww, cooties, make it go away!" and not engage in further analysis.

    So, when the researcher calls, the consumer will say "yup, yup, my scanner done found VIRUSESES!" and the researcher duly checks off the "yup" box.
  20. ecche macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2003
    a very kiwi place
    i knew they were insane when they alleged that US built cars were now better than European models...
  21. Blackheart macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
    Hey, well this only proves the Windows zealots incorrect in their assessment of the Macintosh. They always argue that it's for people who don't know how to use computers. However, by these statistics, people who can't tell the difference between a pop-up and a virus only consist of 20% of the Macintosh population. :p

    See! 80% of us know how to use computers! :D
  22. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2003
    Scranton, PA
    CR probably interviewed like, 100 random mac users... people who aren't mad head like us... and for example, if I recieve an email and my ISP attatches a little warning to it like, caution, this is a virus, ect ect... (even though it won't affect my comp if I would open it), you could say that I "got" a virus on my mac. Has it affected it? No...

    Or, I'm sure everyone has seen those anoying ads on the internet that popup and say, "You have (3) viruses on your computer.. download blah blah virus deleter now!" Again... non mac-genioueses like us might not be able to tell the difference.

    Plus, I'm sure people out there don't know the difference between popups, adware, spyware, worms, trojens, viruses, ect ect... heck I even don't. One may suggest if they're computer locks up or unexpectly quit it may be infected with some kind of "whatever".

    That's why polls like that don't make much sense.... CR should have stuck to facts rather than a random poll of clueless people. :rolleyes:
  23. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I have a lot of trust in Consumer Reports. It's hard to tell it the questions were flawed or misunderstand by the responders. When they report on tested items the results are done from scientific testing procedures. They can be unbiased because they don't have any advertisers.
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I feel like kicking something.......or someone, maybe a writer. :mad:
  25. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    Anyone to rate the Honda Ridgeline the best pickup truck is crazy. Who is actually going to use that as a pickup truck and put stuff in it.

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