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Last Friday, more than 230,000 computers from 150 countries were affected by an unprecedented ransomware cyber-attack called WanaCryp0r 2.0 or better known as “WannaCry”. Many large-scale organizations such as FedEx, Nissan UK, Renault France and the National Health Service (England) saw their files encrypted and was being forced to to pay a ransom in bitcoin. However, security experts do not guarantee that access will be regained once the payment has been made. This attack was planned in great detail as it was spread through various methods such as computer worms and email phishing in 28 different languages targeting Microsoft users. While the attack has slowed throughout the weekend thanks to Marcus Hutchings, the threat is still out there and if you own a Microsoft computer you can still be at risk.
In order to make sure this nightmare scenario doesn’t happen to you, here are some tips to prevent WannaCry:
- Backup All of Your Files: The first and easiest thing you can do is to backup all of your most important files on an external hard drive. That way your mind will at ease just in case your computer does in fact get infected. You might even be more willing to wait out the ransom until someone figures out a solution to get rid of virus because your files are safe somewhere else.
- Install the Latest Security Update: It has been reported that the WannaCry virus has been targeting Windows users, specifically older operating systems that have not installed their security updates in quite some time. You need to get the latest update regardless of your operating system to protect your computer from this attack. Microsoft released a security update on Friday that you should install it immediately.
- Beef Up Security: Besides installing security updates, you should also have your antivirus programs up to date as well as pop-up blockers and other-browser related programs. This virus is not something to take lightly so you must do anything you can to ensure your computer is not at risk.
- Be Cautious with Emails: Many users reported that they got affected by WannaCry once they accidentally clicked on an attachment or a link thinking it was harmless email. In these next few days be extra cautious when opening emails and make sure that you are absolutely certain that they will be safe.
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