Spam, computer viruses, Trojans or online fraud: the downsides of the Internet are well-known, and most online users have already experienced mainly the less serious forms themselves. 66 per cent of Internet users state that they have received undesired mass e-mails (spam). Almost half (48%) – that is nearly 23 million German Internet users – have already suffered an infection of their computer by a virus, Trojan or worm. However, only 8 per cent of surfers state that they have been defrauded when making an online purchase, 5 per cent have already been the victims of a phishing raid and 3 per cent have already lost money through online fraud.
Whether the surfers learn from their experiences depends very much on the type of experience. Many seem to accept spam as an inevitable evil: Fewer than half (43%) change their own behavior in the Internet to prevent themselves receiving spam in the future. On the other hand, with a virus, Trojan or worm, 61 per cent adjust their behaviour on the web, for example by installing a professional antivirus program.