A record number of customers contacting Dell with computer performance issues caused by spyware and viruses shows how pervasive the problem is among home technology users, said Mike George, vice president and general manager of Dell’s U.S. Consumer business.
“Spyware is the root cause of many of the performance problems our customers face,” George said. “More consumers are using broadband and wireless Internet access in their homes. These are tremendous tools, but they also expose us to malicious software that attaches to our PCs as we browse the Internet.”
Symptoms of spyware, which monitors activity and gathers personal information from a computer, include slow PC performance, a hijacked homepage, excessive spam or pop-up ads, inability to connect to the Internet or potential crashes. Up to 20 percent of the calls received by Dell’s consumer desktop technical support team are for spyware and virus-related issues, far surpassing any other performance issue, George said. And according to one study, more than 90 percent of home computers have some type of spyware on them.(a)
“The great news is there are steps — some of them as simple as using firewalls and anti-virus and spyware protection products — that anyone can take to significantly reduce the chances their PCs will be affected,” George said.
As part of the campaign, available only in the U.S., Dell has created a new PC Security Web site at www.dell4me.com/security to provide customers “how-to” information on identifying spyware, virus and other threats to their computers; tips for protecting their PC; information and promotions on firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware products; and links to partner Web sites.
“What consumers want is to stop worrying about the safety of their PCs so they can start using them to the fullest,” said Matthew Moynahan, vice president, Consumer Products and Solutions, for Symantec. “It is critical for companies like Dell and Symantec to come together to give consumers easy-to-use, integrated security solutions, and that is what Symantec’s Norton Internet Security provides to Dell customers.”
Dell will also be working with the Internet Education Foundation (IEF), a consumer education organization that runs GetNetWise, to develop a robust, industrywide spyware resource for all consumers leveraging IEF’s well-branded www.getnetwise.org.
For consumers who do not want to address the issue themselves, Dell is providing phone support for troubleshooting and removing virus and spyware software, which fall outside the scope of Dell hardware warranties and service agreements. The phone support service, the first step toward a more comprehensive “help desk” offering launching in the fall, costs $39 per incident.
“We want all of our customers to have the best experience possible with their Dell technology,” George said. “If the system is not performing properly — regardless of the reason — it cannot be a good experience. By providing an educational Web site and expanding our services, we give our customers one source for support, whether it is for their Dell PC or for non-Dell software and peripherals.
“We will continue to update our support Web site and expand our services as new customer needs, protection products and issues develop.”
More information on Dell’s PC security information can be found at www.dell4me.com/security.