I know. A “botnet” sounds like something out of Terminator. But that’s because it’s essentially the same thing: a botnet is created when viruses and other malicious software are downloaded onto your computer and your machine turns against you.

In fact, a “botnet” is a group of compromised computers that can communicate and work together under the command of a single entity to commit cyber-crime.

Today, the Industry Botnet Group (IBG), a collaboration between multiple industries striving to protect small businesses and consumers against cyber-crime, met at the White House to raise awareness of botnet threats.

Alongside with government officials, IBG announced a number of new initiatives in the fight against malware.

We support IBG’s efforts to educate small businesses and consumers about the risks of botnets and want to help promote the same message.

Here are 3 steps that any business or organization can take to protect their computer from attacks:

1. Don’t download anything from an untrustworthy source.

If you’re unsure, don’t trust it. The last thing you want is to download malicious software. It could be a “video player” that claims to help you watch movies for free online, or it could be one of those grainy internet ads that offer a secret solution to That Thing Everyone Worries About.

You should also be careful of suspicious social media posts and emails, too, particularly if they’re from friends, but don’t seem like something a friend would send you.

2. Look into software that can protect your computer.

Anti-virus software can save your computer and your business just by regularly checking your hard drive for something that doesn’t belong there. McAfee and Norton Antivirus are the most prominent providers and will automatically quarantine and eliminate potential malware.

Since malware comes in many different forms, it’s equally important to make sure that these tools are up-to-date, so make sure to update the software on a regular basis.

3. Share your strategies with others.

Small businesses can help one another by offering similar tips to others. At its heart, the internet is a community, and the biggest risk of a botnet is that the threat can spread exponentially with each affected computer. This can wreak havoc on any network, let alone a corporate one.

Just by taking steps to protect your own information and advising others to do the same, you can make a big difference in the ongoing fight against malicious software that can have a harmful impact on everyone who logs onto the internet every day.

Customers trust businesses with their private data every day, and it’s up to those businesses to keep it safe and secure.

What do you do to protect your computer? Let us know below!