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picking up personal information or intercepting credit and debit card numbers. In a recent survey, 68 percent of participants said they were concerned that their credit or debit card information will be stolen if they use their cards for online purchases. More than one-third also see the Internet as the medium most likely to result in identity theft.67 Internet shoppers are also concerned about contracting annoying or harmful viruses, spyware, and other "malware" (malicious software). A recent Google study of 4.5 million Web sites found that 10 percent of them were downloading malware:68

Spyware programs track where you go on the Internet and clutter your screen with annoying pop-up advertisements for everything from pornography to wireless phone plans. Spyware can get stuck in your computer's hard drive as you shop, chat, or download a song. It might arrive attached to that clever video you just nabbed at no charge. Web security company McAfee estimates that nearly three-quarters of all sites listed in response to Internet searches for popular phrases like "free screen savers" or "digital music" attempt to install some form of advertising software in visitors' computers. Once lodged there, spyware can sap a PC's processing power, slow its functioning, and even cause it to crash.

Another Internet marketing concern is that of access by vulnerable or unauthorized groups. For example, marketers of adult-oriented materials have found it difficult to restrict access by minors. For example, 13 percent of the respondents in a recent Consumer Reports magazine survey had children in their household registered as MySpace users who were under the online community's official minimum age of 14. The survey also indicated that many parents haven't prepared their children for potential online risks.69

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