a Dutch man in 2005.

All is not doom and gloom. For individual PC users, there are preventive measure to help ensure your PC doesn't become a zombie:

1. Keep your operating system up to date. If you're running Windows, configure Windows Update to install security patches automatically.

2. Keep your other programs up to date as well, installing updates as they become available.

3. Use an Internet security suite such as McAfee Internet Security Suite, Symantec's Norton Internet Security, or Trend Micro Internet Security, and keep it up to date as well.

McAfee Internet Security Suite comes bundled for free with some Internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and MSN, and it includes the most important but not all of the protections in the full version. If you have a subscription with such an ISP, and you want to use the free security protection, you have to install them from the ISP's Web site.

Reid Goldsborough  |  Contributing Writer
Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author of Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at reidgold@comcast.net or www.reidgoldsborough.com.