A ransomware attack bearing the name “WannaCry” caused chaos when it hit hundreds of thousands of computers from all over the world, over the weekend. However, this form of malicious software is decades old. It involves blocking someone’s personal data on a computer and threatening to destroy or expose it if the person does not pay a ransom. People can usually receive it via e-mail or web pop-ups, and the payment hackers request is often in the form of virtual currency Bitcoin. This recent attack affected over 200,000 computers from schools, hospitals, banks and even state agencies, from about 150 countries. Those included China, Japan, United Kingdom or Germany.
Protection from such attacks
Experts are warning not only individuals, but companies, to instruct their employees in regards with the measures they need to take in case such an attack occurs. If people would have acted more carefully online, the attack would not have extended so much. So, security experts have some tips about what can people do in order to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
The “WannaCry” global attack affected only computers running on Microsoft Windows operating system. People probably downloaded it from e-mail and allowed it to spread. However, it is extremely ironic that just eight weeks ago, Microsoft released a patch for the “WannaCry” vulnerability. So, if people would have been careful to install the update, we would not have this situation. Still, users of Mac or Linux should also frequently update their machines so that they are safe from cyber-attacks. Also, a good antivirus software makes wonders, if it is updated, of course. So, people should make sure they have an active such software. About 30 per cent of all antivirus systems reportedly detected and destroyed the ransomware on time.
Be careful with suspicious e-mails
The easiest way in which a ransomware ends up in someone’s computer is through e-mail. So, people should not click any attachments or links which come with a dubious e-mail. People can also detect a suspicious e-mail by checking the spelling and grammatical errors in it. However, sometimes, you cannot avoid being infected. So, everybody should make sure that they have a backup of all their data. This way, you will not lose it all and will be able to recover from the attack.
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