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Is your Computer Secure?

Monday, January 15, 2007

We would like to remind everyone to take the proper steps to make sure your computer is secure. When surfing the internet, it is imperative your computer is protected against viruses, spyware, trojans, and similar destructive devices out there in cyberspace.

In recent news, computers are at risk of becomming what is referred to as a "zombie computer". Zombie computers are computers that have been attacked by a trojan, virus, or similar mechanism that in turn hijacks and allows the computer to be controlled remotely. Zombie computers are used to send out large amounts of email spam, launch attacks on websites, steal personal data, and a whole host of other bad deeds. Most of the time, the fact that a computer is being used as a zombie goes unnoticed by its owner.

Zombie computers are part of a growing network of computers, referred to as a botnet army or a zombie army. A recent editorial article in The New York Times estimates that "...11 percent of the more than 650 million computers connected to the Internet are infected."

Tips to help protect your computer against the threats lurking around the internet:

  • Make sure you have and use a personal firewall
  • Keep your operating system up to date. Windows Updates on your computer should be current.
  • Update and use your antivirus and antispyware software regularly
  • Don't open any email attachment unless you are certain the source is reliable
  • Only download files and software from reputable websites
  • Consider using a more secure web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera

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