Ransomware: What it is and how to protect yourself

Ransomware: What it is and how to protect yourselfA global ransomware attack paralyzed hundreds of thousands of computers recently by exploiting vulnerability in Microsoft’s operating systems. While these incidents are alarming, there are measures that you can take to keep yourself safe from these nefarious malware attacks.

This attack, known as “WannaCry,” only targets Microsoft users. If you are own an Apple computer, you are safe from this particular attack.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to download the most recent software updates from Microsoft. Microsoft put out a patch for newer operating systems to combat this vulnerability in March, but many people have failed to download and install this security update.

Those using older operating systems, such as Windows XP, are particularly vulnerable. Microsoft has released an emergency patch for these users too, so be sure to go to Windows Update and download the latest security updates for your OS.

There are also general behavioral measures you can take to make yourself less likely to be the victim of one of these malicious virtual attacks.

The most important thing to remember is that you open yourself up to risk every time you download and/or install a file from your email or from the Internet. It is important that you never open emails from senders who you do not know.

Always be on the lookout for strange emails with attachments that you did not request. Even if the email looks legitimate, if you are even slightly unsure of what the attachment is, do not click on it.

Ransomware is a particularly nasty piece of computer code. It basically holds your computer and its data prisoner. The message that you receive when this happens is clear: pay up or lose access to your files. However, by taking the time to keep your software current and carefully examine files before you download them, you should be able to avoid these kinds of attacks.

Source: Nancy Lawrence – Staff Writer

Note from This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author,, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.