Spyware infections carry big costs

A single spyware infection on a work computer can impact the productivity of the typical small business employee for two-and-a-half days, according to research commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

A survey of employees at businesses with 10 to 200 computer users found that more than one in four computer users reported having their productivity impacted by a spyware infection during the past six months. Of these, more than one-third reported multiple spyware inflections.

Even more alarming, users of spyware-infected computers reported “living with” the problem for 18 work hours – more than two full workdays – before getting it repaired. They did so even though they realized that their work productivity was reduced due to the problems associated with spyware. Users estimated their productivity was reduced by 21 percent when the spyware problem was first noticed; and was reduced by 32 percent when the problem was at its peak.

On top of the delay in reporting a spyware infection is the time it takes to fix the problem. A survey of PC-support professionals servicing small businesses and who had fixed at least one spyware incident during the past year reported spending an average of 2.8 labor hours per infected PC. That’s more than 20 hours of reduced worker productivity for each spyware incident at a small business.

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