According to a McAfee SiteAdvisor, 97% of the users are just one step away of being infected with Spyware and Adware.
SiteAdvisor, a website belonging to McAfee is testing and rating nearly every trafficked site on the Internet has declared that Internet surfers are very easy to fool regarding spyware. According to the first-ever Spyware Quiz conducted by SiteAdvisor, a staggering 97% of Internet users are just one click away from infecting their PCs with spyware, adware or some other kind of unwanted software.
From almost 14000 users that took the quiz from www.siteadvsor.com only 3% received the perfect score. Even I answered correctly to only only 7/8 questions.
The survey challenged Web surfers to test their ability to detect which sites in a number of popular categories were free of adware or spyware. The examples in the quiz are taken from more than three million Web sites which SiteAdvisor has independently tested and rated for Web safety issues like spyware and spam.
Here are some conclusions:
- Based on their choices, a majority of users (65%) would have been infected with adware or spyware many times over
- The presence of national advertisers and a clean, uncluttered design seem to trick respondents into thinking a site is safe
- Even users with a high “Spyware IQ” have a nearly 100% chance of visiting a dangerous site during 30 days of typical online searching and browsing activity
- Users often miss the fine print that allows a dangerous Web site to claim it installs unwanted software legally
The first part of the quiz presented users with pairs of sites and asked them to pick which one of the pair was safe. The second part presented a series of file sharing software sites and asked which ones were spyware and adware free. The test has been available since March.
Sites were selected from popular categories — screensavers, smileys, free games, song lyrics, and file-sharing applications — all of which are also notorious for distributing spyware, adware and other unwanted programs. The quiz was specifically designed to determine how adept users are at visually detecting the potential for intrusive downloads on a site.
And here are the procent of the correct responded questions:
- Lyrics Sites – 28%
- File sharing Sites – 59%
- Screensaver Sites – 62%
- Free games Sites – 68%
- Smileys Sites – 75%
Kind of interesting. And so many were fooled on the lyrics websites because even the ones with problems have banners and links to Circuit City and Mopnster.com.
“We know it’s not easy to judge a site’s safety just by looking at it, but that’s the point: Bad sites are often very good at providing an aura of safety,” said Chris Dixon, who heads McAfee’s SiteAdvisor development. “No matter how knowledgeable or perceptive you are, you can’t rely on your instincts alone. Another important take-away that people sometimes forget is that there ARE safe sites, even in these often abused categories.”
McAfee’s SiteAdvisor is pioneering Web Safety by testing and rating, on an ongoing basis, nearly every site on the Internet. SiteAdvisor’s software clearly identifies potentially dangerous Web sites that have engaged in ‘social engineering’ attacks such as spyware, adware, spam and online scams. The easy-to-use software summarizes these findings with intuitive red, yellow, and green icons that empower online users to stay safe as they search, browse, and transact online.
So if you wonder whether a website is secure you can check it onto McAfee’s website. Stay clean.