What are Botnets?
The Internet is filled with threats to online security. Many of these threats are just productive, positive technologies turned to evil use. The botnet is an example of using good technologies for bad intentions.
But what are bots?
A botnet is nothing more than a string of connected computers coordinated together to perform a task. Which can be maintaining a chatroom, or it can be taking control of your computer.
Bots were created to interact with other network services, expressly for the purpose of
automating repetitive tasks. It has taken over certain tasks that otherwise were performed by human beings, typically those providing information or services. You’ve likely
encountered these on Amazon or Uber chat where they are known as chatbots that you interact with in a customer support chat window.
There are also bots like Google’s search engine spiders that crawl the internet to index new pages, critical to finding the results you see on search engine results pages.
However, these types of botnets are the good kind, like famous websites and services and they are entirely legal and even beneficial to maintaining a smooth user experience on the Internet. The ones we need to be careful are the malicious and illegal bots that are the workhorses of the Internet, they’re connected computers performing a number of repetitive tasks to keep websites going. What happens is that illegal botnets gain access to your machine through some piece of malicious coding. In some cases, your machine is directly hacked, while other times what is known as a “spider” does the hacking automatically.
More often than not, what botnets are looking to do is to add your computer to their web. They can steal your data, infect your computer with malware, launch Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and do a whole lot more. The reason why these bots are so difficult to detect, which makes them even more challenging to protect against, is that they can disguise themselves as legitimate traffic. Bots are responsible for many advances on the internet, but cybercriminals take advantage of this to ensure bad bots fly below the radar to infect your PC or Mac with bot malware.
Stay alert! Here are some of the signs that your PC might be infected with a bot malware:
Frequent computer crashes without an identifiable reason.
Slow internet access.
Problems with computer shut down (it takes its time to shut down or doesn’t shut down completely/correctly).
Programs that loaded quickly and effortlessly previously are slow to load.
Applications that worked seamlessly are now working in fits and starts.
Your family and friends receive emails from you – but you didn’t send them.
Advertisements pop-up on the screen – but you are not using a web browser.
How to protect your computer from Botnets
Some common-sense precautions when using the Internet can not only remove botnets that have been installed, it can also prevent them from being installed on your computer, tablet and phone in the first place. Good security begins with an Internet security suite that detects malware that has been installed, removes the threats from your machine and prevents future attacks.
Make sure all the software you use on your PC or Mac are up to date.
Use strong passwords for your computer (a mix of numbers and symbols).
Don’t download unknown files on your computer.
Enable popup blockers.
Install high-quality antivirus protection that has advanced anti-malware features.
Keep your antivirus updated.
If you think your computer is infected with malware, take necessary steps to cleanup this infection.
Here at Wappo the number one antivirus that we advise all clients to use is Webroot. Webroot Secure Anywhere is an efficient antivirus that focuses on security and speed. Its unique approach to detection and monitoring allows it to perform scans with little to no performance impact while maintaining one of the most robust databases of malware out there, like botnets.
Webroot is among the best antivirus software, because of its security measures and resource efficiency.
Download a quick guide about Botnets here. You can download, share and save to use later.