Microsoft said that there are a number of steps that computer users can take to help protect their systems.
First, frequently check for and apply security updates, including updates from third-party application providers.
Next, make sure your firewall is enabled and install up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
Also, use caution when opening links and attachments embedded in e-mails. Hackers often use links to direct users to phony web sites in a technique called phishing.
A copy of Microsoft's latest Security Intelligence Report is available for download.