Media Alert: Consumer Security Expert Offers Tips and Advice for Online Safety

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 14, 2007

Why: Microsoft Corp. recently completed an extensive consumer survey that revealed nearly one out of every five online U.S. adults (17 percent) has been a victim of at least one Internet scam, and 81 percent of those admitted they did something that led to the crime, such as opening an e-mail message that appeared to be from a legitimate person or company. According to Microsoft® experts, some of the biggest threats facing consumers online this year are fraud-related attacks that criminals use to trick consumers, who think they are dealing with a trusted source, into revealing personal information. Despite the growth of online crime, the survey found that more than half of online U.S. adults age 18 and over (58 percent) admitted they had little to no knowledge of current online threats and scams.

What: Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to building technology solutions that help people have a safer and more secure online experience has proved to be a valuable component in helping people evade online threats, but the survey results reveal the continued need to educate consumers on ways to avoid these crimes. Microsoft can discuss the following:

  • Key findings from Microsoft’s consumer online fraud survey

  • How men and women differ in survey results — who claims to be more knowledgeable, who is a more frequent victim, and other facts

  • What are the major online threats and cybercrime techniques being used today?

  • How can people better secure their PCs and their personal information?

  • How can parents better protect their children on the Internet?

  • What resources are available to help consumers evaluate potential threats and secure protective technology?

Who: Adrienne Hall, consumer security expert, Microsoft

Adrienne Hall, a 17-year Microsoft employee, is senior director of communications and marketing for Trustworthy Computing, a Microsoft tenet focused on providing secure, private and reliable computing experiences for everyone.

When: Interviews are now available. To schedule one, contact Margeau Lebeau, (425) 638-7120, [email protected].

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive Inc. on behalf of Microsoft between May 22 and May 24, 2007, among 2,482 adults (age 18 and over). Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The data were also weighted to be representative of the online population of U.S. adults on the basis of Internet usage (hours per week) and connection type.

With a pure probability sample of 2,482, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on subsamples may be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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