Apparently 80% of all home computers are infected with a virus (or other nasty)… As reported on The Register 80% of home PCs infected and most PC users don’t know the difference between a virus scanner and a firewall.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – you wouldn’t drive you car without seatbelts, don’t use a PC without an up to date virus scanner and some kind of firewall (even if it’s just the XP SP2 one – it’s better than nothing)
According to research by the Austrailian PC Authority where a "honeypot" PC was connected, unprotected to the internet, one of the six configurations was compromised in just four minutes, and this machine was, a Windows XP SP1 machine with the firewall in it’s default configuration (i.e. OFF) – however, if you’ve got an unprotected XP machine, it’s probably been attacked remotely during the time you’ve spent reading this.
If you’ve not already done so – please follow this checklist for security…
* If you’re on Windows XP, get and install SP2
* Install an Antivirus solution
* Install an Anti Spyware solution
* If you’re not behind a hardware firewall, install a personal Firewall.
* Never, ever open attachments from emails, even if they appear to be from people you know. If you think an attachment is genuine, ask the person who appears to have sent it if they did and what it is. Then manually scan it for viruses anyway just to be safe.
Now you’ve covered the basics, you should have AV, Firewall and AntiSpyware solutions installed.
About once a week, you need to do a full system scan with both the AV and AntiSpyware tools, making sure you update their definition files every time.
If you’ve not done all this, there’s a very high chance that your PC is part of a Spam Botnet, and is probably acting as part of a attacking other people’s PC’s under the control of various bad-guys…
You’ve been warned – take precautions for your online safety.