There’s been a lot of talk about the newest malware called WannaCry that encrypts files on Windows computers. This malware does not affect Macs. It’s a nasty virus that eludes most security software and holds your files hostage unless you pay a ransom. Even if you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back.
There’s good news and bad news.
The good news: None of our clients have reported being hit with this virus. Congratulations to all of you!!
The bad news: Hundreds of thousands of computers around the world have been infected. There will surely be more of these viruses coming.
Here are some quick tips to help you understand and avoid this and other malware:
- Malware doesn’t install itself! In virtually every case, YOU have to allow the installation of any software on your computer. So be super-careful about pop-ups, that request your permission to allow installations of software.
- Almost all malware is currently coming through email attachments or links When you click an attachment or link, you’re telling your computer to perform an action. In many cases, it just takes a click or two to install the virus. Be especially wary of ALL attachments and links in email.
Even if the email comes from someone you know or do business with, it could contain a virus. Why? because that person’s computer could have been compromised and their entire address book would be sent the virus. Secondly, it’s easy to put anyone’s name as the “From” in an email.
- Make sure you Backup your files. We still see a lot of computers that aren’t being backed up. We recommend that you have an online backup, plus a local hard drive backup.
- Make sure to keep your computer operating system updated. This virus cannot work on a computer with updated operating system software. We offer a service for only $8.99 per month per computer that keeps your computer and software updated, tuned-up, and monitored (no brainer folks).
- Install PAID anti-virus/security software. It’s better than the free stuff, and it may stop at least some viruses.
- If you’re a business, home-based business or have sensitive data to protect, consider a business-class firewall. A business-class firewall can scan for viruses, block malicious websites, etc. If this is something of interest to you, please give us a call to discuss.
- There’s no need to buy a second computer for Internet-only use, Turn off your Internet modem when not in use, etc., for most of you. Just follow the above steps, and you’ll likely never have a virus infection. We’re happy to discuss any special needs/circumstances with you.
As always, please give us a call if you have any questions or need our advice/services. 925-283-5666