Ransomware worries? Keep up to date.

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You’ve probably heard about the ransomware attack affecting organizations’ computer systems around the world. It seems to affect server software on organizations’ networked computers. But ransomware can attack anybody’s computer, so now is a good time to update your own operating system and other software. And then keep them up-to-date.

The ransomware in the news now is known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt. It locks users out of their systems until they pay the crooks who installed it. This ransomware takes advantage of a security hole in Windows server software that can be closed by an update from Microsoft. Many of the organizations affected by the ransomware had not installed the software update.

Even if you only have one computer, download security updates as soon as they’re available – no matter what operating system you use. Hackers are constantly looking for security gaps, and companies try to close those gaps as soon as they are discovered. So it’s important to download updates right away. Most operating systems have a setting to download and install security updates automatically. Use it. And install updates for your other software, including apps.

If you use old software that doesn’t update automatically, set up a regular schedule to go to the company’s website and download and install updates yourself. It’s wise to check at least weekly.

In addition to keeping software up to date, here are a couple of other things you can do to prepare for a ransomware attack:

  • Back up your important files. From tax forms to family photos, make it part of your routine to back up files often on your computers and mobile devices. When you’re done, log out of the cloud and unplug external hard drives so hackers can’t encrypt and lock your back-ups, too.
  • Think twice before clicking on links or downloading attachments and apps. Ransomware often is downloaded through phishing emails. You also can get ransomware from visiting a compromised site or through malicious online ads.

Comments

Thank you, I hope it's ok to forward this newsletter to all my family and friends?

Yes! Please share it widely, and thank you for helping spread the word.

This happened to me in February and I didn't know what it was or what had happened, all I knew wad I lost allot of super valuable things, pics and files, months of work, our identities and our parents identities, how do I recover from such

Your "update from Microsoft" link isn't working. "Runtime Error" appears after clicking on the link.

Thanks - we'll get that fixed.

I received a Windows Update last week after this ransom ware came out in the news. I did the download from Microsoft, but I sent them a question, because the update said it was from 2014 !!! I have Windows 7 which has 32 bit and 64 bit on it. Haven't heard from Microsoft yet either.

Keeping up to date is important and let's avoid this horrible thing called ransomware right now.

Is ransomware also in connection with what is happening with email on tablets where one's past email connections (organizations) are posted in the user's list of emails under an unsolicited icon? Also, email not fully functional on tablet. WHat's going on here?

I had Ransomware on the computer, could not get into my finances over a year ago. I was one of the fortunate people, it was a holiday weekend, so the information I gave the scammer's who said they were Microsoft, was quickly erased and accounts and passwords cancelled before the banks opened on Tuesday. I am very careful now. Hope you all will be also!

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