By Molly Wood, CNET

SAN FRANCISCO (CNET) — Increasingly hackers are using “Botnets” – giant networks of computers that are infected with viruses – to help them break into personal computers and access private data from individuals and companies.

Once they’re infected, hackers can use all computers at once to attack a specific target. More than 2,000 major companies like Paramount Pictures and pharmaceutical giant Merck have been hacked, CNET reports.

There are steps personal computer users can take to make sure they do not fall prey to Botnets. User should check their email outboxes for unknown email. If you see a lot of unknown email, your computer may have been accessed without your knowledge.

If your Internet is abnormally slow, this could be another sign your computer is receiving or sending large amounts of data.

Personal computer users can take several steps to protect themselves from Botnets. Try running a scan of your computer’s hard drive using anti-scan or anti-virus software. CNET recommends AVG anti virus software, which is free.

Be careful about clicking on links from recipients you don’t know. Don’t install unknown software from the Internet.

AVG Free Anti-Virus Software

Molly Wood is an executive editor at CNET TV, host of the Buzz Report and Mailbag, co-host of Gadgettes, occasional host on Buzz Out Loud and ranter on all things tech-related.


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