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Google races past Microsoft to number two tech firm
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Oct 1, 2012


One-fourth of Americans victims of data breach
Washington (AFP) Oct 1, 2012 - Twenty-six percent of Americans have been told their personal information such as password or credit card number may have been exposed by a data breach, a survey showed Monday.

The survey by the security firm McAfee and the National Cyber Security Alliance also found disparities between Americans' concerns and their practices in warding off attacks.

It found 90 percent of Americans agree that a safe and secure Internet is crucial to economic security and the same number do not feel completely safe from viruses, malware and hackers while on the Internet.

But 64 percent percent of those surveyed said they have never any installed security software or apps to protect against viruses or malware.

The survey found 49 percent of smartphone users have used their device to access the Internet, but 58 percent have not backed up their data.

NCSA, a non-profit public-private partnership, unveiled the survey to kick off the ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

"The threat to the safety of Americans online is growing every day and, as the survey shows, the fear of Americans has also grown to 90 percent," said Gary Davis, vice president of global consumer marketing at McAfee.

"It is our responsibility to make sure that consumers are aware of these growing threats, so they can be best prepared to defend themselves against these hidden criminals."

Google soared past Microsoft in terms of market value Monday to become the second-richest firm in the tech world behind Apple.

Google shares gained 0.96 percent to end at $761.78, giving the Internet giant a market capitalization of $249.1 billion. Microsoft meanwhile fell 0.91 percent to $29.49, translating into a market worth of $247.2 billion.

Both remained well behind Apple, which shed 1.16 percent to $659.39, meaning its market cap is just above $618 billion.

Google's stock price has climbed steadily this year as the California-based company bolstered its positions in key Internet growth areas with its dominant search engine, Android mobile operating system and YouTube video venue.

The shares got a boost last week from a Citigroup note advising investors that the Google stock price could "rise significantly in the 12 months ahead."

A note Monday from Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research said both Google and Apple have "strong momentum" in the mobile Internet sector while "developer interest in Windows Phone is almost non-existent."

Chowdhry added that Google's "innovation velocity far exceeds any other company."

Enthusiasm for Microsoft has been lukewarm, despite its upcoming launch of the Windows 8 operating system and a push into the tablet and phone markets.

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