The adoption of computer systems into our daily lives came with a new set of challenges, chief among them being cyber attacks. Terms such as phishing, identity theft, cyber bullying, and virus attacks are becoming ever more relevant. The terms “ransomware” and “WannaCry” are the latest addition to this list.
This is a new type of malware that shuts down computer systems and demand a ransom to give back control of the same. You are at risk of ransomware attacks (like WannaCry) and other forms of cyber attacks if you don’t keep your computer updated.
Update your Computer Regularly
Updating your computer regularly and promptly is the most basic and most important way to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Here we mean installing the latest windows updates as soon as they are released.
To put this into perspective, think of “WannaCry” ransomware which has been making headlines this week after infecting thousands of computers around the world.
WannaCry targets computers running Microsoft windows with a particular security vulnerability. It has infected thousands of computers across the world. The irony in all this is that Microsoft released a security update for the exact vulnerability exploited by WannaCry back in March.
How WannaCry Works
WannaCry locks up (encrypt) all the files on a vulnerable computer and demand$300 in bitcoin to allow the victim to regain access to his computer. Failure to do that within three days, and the amount doubles. In 7 days, the ransomware deletes all your files permanently. Security experts say WannaCry is one of the worst – and most widespread – cyber threat.
WannaCry has affected individuals and institutions alike, including hospitals and government institutions. Some hospitals in the UK had to cancel patient appointments.
Don’t be a Victim of Ransomware and Other Cyber Attacks
To stay safe from “WannaCry” and other forms of cyber-attack, update your windows with the latest patches as soon as they are available. Also, make sure that you are not one of the few internet users who still run windows XP. The operating system has not been supported for more than 4 years and you are subject to easy attack by hackers if you still use it.
Other Steps to Protect Yourself against Wannacry Ransomware and Other Cyber-Attacks
To protect yourself from cyber attacks, you should observe the following tips in addition to running windows updates:
- Install and use a reputable. Ensure that it is updated at all times.
- Make sure your software is up to date.
- Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with
- Have a pop-up blocker running on your web browser.
- Regularly back up your important files.
- If you use internet explorer, ensure you have smart screen turned on, which helps to identify phishing and malware websites. It also helps you make informed decisions about downloads.
- Google Chrome also has a feature that helps to protect you from dangerous sites. Type chrome://settings/ in your address bar, then make sure the checkbox is ticked.