Secure Your Computer!
Cyberspace malefactors are enslaving millions of unsecured computers into zombie networks that are responsible for spewing out mountains of spam and attacking legitimate websites that oppose the spammers. Is your PC part of the problem? Find out now...
Are You a Spammer?
You might be a spammer, and never know it. Every day, ordinary computers, owned by ordinary people like you, are being used to send spam. Because so many people have failed to take just a few easy steps to secure their computers, they have become zombies, caught up in botnets.
Botnets are groups of PCs on the Internet that can have been compromised by spammers and hackers. Adware, spyware, computer viruses and other rogue programs have allowed these computers to be remotely controlled by a single entity. By using these zombie computer networks, they can send spam that's virtually untraceable, because it originates from YOUR PC, not the spammer's.
Are You a Hacker?
But that's not all... a compromised computer can also be used to attack other users and websites. A distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack uses thousands of zombie computers to flood the intended victim's computer or website with millions of incoming data packets, which can cause it to crash or become inaccessible. And again, the attacker remains anonymous because they can hide behind the zombie network. All they do is press a button which sends the "attack signal" to the zombies, which do the bidding of their master.
DDOS attacks have been used by spammers to attack individuals and the websites of anti-spam organizations. In one recent case, the Blue Frog anti-spam service was forced to shut down due to unrelenting botnet attacks.
If you have failed to secure your computer, and as a result it has been compromised, the consequences could go far beyond unwitting participation in spamming and denial of service attacks. Until you fix this problem, your privacy, the integrity of your files, and the safety of your personal information are all figments of your imagination. Any program, any file, any email on your computer is accessible to the person who controls it. Once the zombie master has tapped into your PC, he or she can install new programs, browse your documents and emails, delete files at random, or use your identity to commit crimes. And of course, you could be oblivious to all of this.
Take Back Your Computer - Take Back the Net
But that doesn't have to be the case. By securing your computer, you take back your personal privacy, and you help to shut down spammers. The good news is that it doesn't take a lot of time, money or computer skills. To make sure your computer is free of rogue software and secured for the future, the first thing you need to do is make sure your PC has the latest Microsoft security fixes. If configure your system to run Windows Update in automatic mode, you'll always be up to date, without another keystroke. Open Internet Explorer, click on Tools, then Windows Update. Follow the instructions to download the required fixes, then choose the Automatic mode.
Next, you absolutely need anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and a firewall. The two articles below will show you my recommendations for the best anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and the facts on both hardware & software firewalls. This is the solution I've used myself for several years and I know it works. Best of all, everything you need is free!
More Internet Security Resources
Do you use a wireless connection at home or on the road? If so, you should read these next two articles to make sure your computer is not vulnerable to wireless networking exploits.
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This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 22 May 2006
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- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Secure Your Computer! (Posted: 22 May 2006)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved