Money Minute: A Third of Internet Traffic Fake? Microsoft's Upgrade Deal


The reach of the Internet is huge, but it may not be as big as previously thought.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau claims that more than one-third of all online traffic may be fake. The trade group says those fraudulent users are really computer bots, not real people. The idea is to fool advertisers, who often make payments based on the number of "clicks" their ads receive. Who's behind this trickery? Nobody's exactly sure, even though much of it can be traced to Eastern Europe.

Microsoft (MSFT) is making one more attempt to get users of its 13-year old Windows XP operating system to make the switch to a Windows 8 computer. The company will give a $100 rebate to people who upgrade to a Windows 8 PC. Microsoft will stop providing security updates April 8, leaving XP users' computers vulnerable to viruses and hackers.

As Microsoft phases out XP, Google (GOOG) is ramping up efforts to make its Google Glass eyewear more popular. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%It's already achieved a geeky sort of cool status, but now Google Glass wants a more mainstream, fashionable cool. It's teaming up with Luxottica to design, make and sell frames for Google's Internet connected eyewear. It will make Google Glass frames under the Ray-Ban and Oakley labels, and sell them at Luxottica retail chains, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut.

Here on Wall Street Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 26 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 9 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 50 points.

Finally, payday loans are turning into a revolving door financial jail for many hard-pressed borrowers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds many people who take out these short-term loans need another and another to pay off the original debt. And the fees can be astronomical, with an effective annual percentage rate of nearly 400 percent. Do that seven times in a row and the fees will exceed the original loan amount.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

Originally published