Scary times for Windows users: The global WannaCry raonsomware has infected over 10,000 companies and 200,000 individual users in the last 48 hours. While the attacks have been thwarted by 2 successful kill switches, you can bet more variants will emerge.
To avoid being the next victim, here is how to protect your Microsoft systems.
- Keep your systems up to date. Microsoft has released a patch to block the specific exploit that WannaCry ransomware uses. Instructions for downloading and installing the patch can be found on the Microsoft Update Catalog. Not sure if the update has already been applied? You can see the list of installed updates on any system by following the instructions on the Windows Update FAQ page. I strongly recommend that Microsoft automatic system updates be turned on. The same Windows Update FAQ page also has instruction for turning on automatic updates on.
- Using an unsupported version like Window XP, Windows 2008 or Server 2003? I strongly recommend that you update to a supported version of Windows as soon as possible. In the meantime, patches for older, unsupported versions of Windows are available from Microsoft’s Update Catalogue.
- Update your anti-virus software. Most vendors have added detection capability to block the ransomware. If you don’t have anti-virus software there are several good free options. Windows Defender (a Microsoft product) should already be on your system, you just need to enable it. Instructions for enabling Windows Defender are available on the Microsoft support site. Other free options that you need to download and install are AVG or AVAST, both of which are available on the download page at CNET.com
- Backup the system regularly, and store the backups offline If your system gets infected, offline files can’t be encrypted.
- About NoMoreCry This is a tool created by the Spanish cyber-security center to prevent infection by this ransomware. I don’t recommend using it at this time, best to keep your operating system and antivirus up to date per above.
Need help with any system? Contact us for assistance.