Avoiding 'thee' Virus

There's no need to shed tears over the WannaCry virus.

Organizations and networks worldwide have since Friday been dealing with the fallout of massive ransomware attack that exploited a hole in PCs running Microsoft Windows that haven't been updated. 

The WannaCry hack threatens to delete users' encrypted files in a week if a ransom of $300 isn't met -- doubled if the payment isn't made in within three days. Some people are getting access to their data. Most (perhaps due to volume of hacks) are getting no response at all.

As you take stock of your home and work computers this week, the focus is turning to protecting against further attacks. Experts have these tips to guard against ransomware. Install Microsoft's official patch. The company rates the update as "critical" for supported Windows releases (For details, please click on Microsoft image below). 
  • Keep security software up to date. Install the Windows update for your PC. 
  • Beware of unknown emails, especially if there are attachments or links.
  • Do not enable macros until after you check for viruses. 
  • Back up your data. Cloud-based services are great, but not alway invulnerable. With backup drives getting less costly every day, this can be the single most effect way of combating ransomware infection. 
  • Apple is not invulnerable This can be a common misconception. Ransomware attackers are getting more savvy, and Apple is becoming 'the next target'. The same goes for cloud services, though no fault of their own...but you ARE sending data across a 'world-wide-web' which may have security breaches along the way.
Tempting as it may be in order to resolve your crisis quickly, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts don't recommend paying the ransom. It gives incentives to hackers and pays for future attacks. "My answer is, never pay the ransom," writes Lawrence Abrams on BleepingComputer.com

One other trusted resource, our beloved "Digital Goddess", Kim Komando.  Click HERE for her advisory: CYBERATTACK! 3 Steps you Need to Take Now!

If in doubt, go straight to Microsoft.  Google and YouTube will yield TONS of "solutions", some no doubt legit. Others, simply scammers. ALL are seeking new revenue -- from YOU!

(Click image for link to Microsoft)

And, be sure to check out the latest FREE episode: