According to new figures from security vendor SecureWorks, one in ten PCs in the UK is capable of launching a cyber attack.
This latest research into worldwide cyber security placed the UK fifth overall for countries with the most hacks, with an average of 107 attacks launched per 1,000 computers over six months.
PCs in India ranked the lowest with just 52 out 1,000 computers launching attacks, and the USA came top with 1,600 attacks per 1,000 PCs.
Jon Ramsey, chief technology officer at SecureWorks states, "The statistics show that a substantial number of vulnerable computers in countries worldwide have been compromised and are being used as bots to launch cyber attacks."
Ramsey warns that PC users often unintentionally make it easy for hackers to access and control their machines.
He says, "The study shows that organisations and individuals are not only putting themselves at risk by not securing their PCs, but are actually providing cyber criminals with a platform to compromise other computers."
Ramsey recommends that users ensure at least a basic level of security, particularly as sensitive computer activities including online baking and social networking, increase in popularity.
Basic security measured recommended by Ramsey include, "keeping your anti-virus software, web browsers and applications properly up to date and patched, and following safe computer practices such as only opening attachments and downloading programs that you trust."
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