As many have heard, seen or read, a major cyberattack has affected more than 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries over the last several days.
The WannaCry ransomware targeted Microsoft Windows computers, mostly at businesses and government organizations, and affected everything from hospitals in the U.K. to FedEx in the U.S. to gas-station cards in China. There are ways to stay safe from these types of attacks:
KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED
If your computer runs Windows, make sure your operating system is updated. In March, Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability that the ransomware worm targeted, so if you haven't updated since then you may be at risk.
BACK UP YOUR DATA
If you have your most important data saved on a separate system, then you won't be at risk of losing all your photos and data files if you get infected.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU OPEN
Be wary of any unsolicited emails asking you to click on a link, or to download a file. If it looks weird, or the site is suspicious, don't click it. Doing so could infect not only your computer, but whatever network you're on - that's how the virus spreads.
USE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
While they're not always guaranteed to catch every virus, this is literally the job they're built for. Scans can block viruses from being downloaded, and prevent malware from being installed.
In today's cyberworld, it's not a matter of if you "get hacked", but more a question of when. Last year, ransomware cost U.S. small businesses upwards of $75 billion in downtime. Per the United States Department of Homeland Security and the majority of IT providers, the best solution for ransomware protection is a solid backup and disaster recovery solution.
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