Viruses to cost U.K. web users £3B in 2006

British computer users will spend a staggering £3 billion this year repairing and replacing virus-ridden PCs, newly published research has claimed.

According to the study from cable company Telewest, the average price that a U.K. consumer will pay out to cure an infected PC of a computer virus now stands at £260. Moreover, a quarter of U.K. PC owners who responded to the poll admitted that they have succumbed to "virus rage" and just ditched the compromised machines rather than attempting to fix them themselves or hiring a professional to do the job for them.

Despite high levels of anxiety over online security, more than one in ten (12 percent) of U.K. surfers are not adequately protected against infection, the study revealed. It also disclosed that, although 73 percent regularly worry about computer security - with a third stressing daily about being targeted by viruses, hackers or spyware - one in ten Brits still admit to opening emails from unrecognised sources.

Philip Snalune, director of product management and marketing at Telewest, said that the cost of curing a virus-infected PC was three-times that of curing an individual suffering from a seasonal cold.

"The cost of leaving your PC open to infection is not to be sniffed at," Snalune said.

"People understandably worry about catching colds and viruses at this time of year, but the effects of a PC virus can potentially cost the average person around three times more to cure."

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