There has been a lot of press in the last few days about computer systems being hacked by the MyCry Virus, which has affected the NHS and other organisations. I thought it would be a good idea to go over the best practices to avoid getting your system hacked by a ransomware virus.
4 Easy Steps:
- Backup your files on to an external hard disk drive and once complete, remove the disk from your computer and keep somewhere safe. Most systems have backup software built in nowadays like Windows has File History and Mac has Time Machine. Also, external disks often come with backup software ready to load on the disk itself.
- Keep your system up-to-date by regularly running Windows Updates or checking in App Store for Mac. Your system should have updates set to automatic so you don’t forget.
- Don’t open suspicious Emails even if they are from someone you know or look legitimate. Clicking a link or opening an attachment is the most common way to get a virus on your system.
- Regularly run Virus scans to pick up anything that may be lurking on your machine which may invite their friends on to your machine!
Having a recent backup is the most important step, as you can reload your files on to a clean computer, rather than pay a ransom to criminals to get your data back.
Keeping your system updated and free from bugs is a given, but please always be extremely wary when opening Emails.
Be aware of Links
My advice would be to never use a link on an Email. Instead, open your browser and go directly to the site. An example would be, if you received an Email from your bank with a link to update your details, make your own way to the banks website and go in the normal way. If you really do need to update your details, you should be notified once logged in. This example can be applied to internet companies such as BT and mobile phone companies like Vodafone or EE.
I hope this has been of some help, and that your computer remains clean and happy!