WannaCry Ransomware Attack - What You Need to Know

On 5/12/2017, a global cyberattack was launched, initially affecting almost 250,000 computers in 150 countries. The ransomware prevents access to files until a ransom is paid to unlock it.

What Should You Do?

Run Windows Update immediately to install all critical security patches.

(To see if your operating system is affected, go here. Look for your OS version under the column labeled "Operating System".)

Learn how to avoid future attacks like this in my upcoming book about Online Safety. The book provides simple, actionable steps to take to protect yourself.

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Find out what you can do to protect yourself online

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WannaCry

The ransomware, a form of malware virus / worm, encrypts many of the files on an infected computer and makes them impossible to open.

After the ransom is paid to the hacker, the files will be decrypted. But can you really trust a hacker to do this, especially after he already has your money?

Should You Worry?

If you're running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, you may be vulnerable. Newer versions of Windows have already been patched.

While standalone computers can be infected, computers on a network with other computers can rapidly spread the worm.

 

What Should You Do?

Run Windows Update and install all available security updates. This might require one or more cycles of rebooting. Re-run Windows Update until no more updates appear.

The other thing you should do is learn how to avoid malware spread via email phishing attacks.

You're Lucky!

Luckily for you, I'm working on a book about online safety that addresses email phishing attacks (and other problems).

Scroll down for details on how to protect yourself...

Find Out How to Protect Yourself Online

No one is going to protect you better than you — and I will show you how to do that. Sign up now to receive a special early invitation to the book and FREE access to important information.

Here are some things you can do right now to protect yourself:

  • Keep your operating system up to date
    • Windows / Mac OS on computers and laptops
    • iOS / Android on smartphones
  • Keep your phone apps up to date
  • Don't download, install, or use anything you don't really need
  • Don't do anything to get yourself on the CIA's target list!

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About the Author

With 25+ years of experience in the computer, software, and web development fields, I have a solid grip on cybersecurity issues. I've worked with companies and organizations including AT&T, Comcast, NASA, ABCNews, Wells Fargo, and others. My deep understanding of the hidden threats and common risks we need to protect ourselves against is captured in my book, written so that even the least "tech-savvy" person will know precisely what to do to protect himself online.

About the Book

The book will use plain English, not techie "geek-speak". It will explain simple steps you can take right now to be much safer online. I'll show you how to mitigate the risks of technology and human behavior. You'll learn the types of online activities that make you the most vulnerable and how to protect yourself. Problem prevention will be highlighted, as well as steps to take if you do get hacked.