Tips: Protect Your Computer From The ‘Zombie Army’

From the Security Products website

March 3, 2008

Hackers and spammers may be using your computer right now. They invade secretly and hide software to get access to the information on your computer, including your e-mail program.

Once on your computer, they can spy on your Internet surfing, steal your personal information and use your computer to send spam to other computers without your knowledge.

Computers taken over this way often become part of a robot network, known as a “botnet” for short. A botnet, also known as a “zombie army,” is made up of tens or hundreds of thousands of home computers sending e-mails by the millions. Fortunately, botnets are not inevitable.

To help you reduce your chances of becoming part of a bot, the Federal Trade Commission encourages you to secure your computer by:

  • Using anti-virus and antispyware software and keeping it up to date.
  • Being cautious about opening attachments or downloading files from e-mails you receive.
  • Using a firewall to protect your computer from hacking attacks while it is connected to the Internet.
  • Disconnecting from the Internet when you are away from your computer.
  • Checking your “sent items” file or “outgoing” mailbox for messages you did not intend to send.

To learn more, visit OnGuardOnline.gov/botnet.html.

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