Is my computer at risk from the WannaCry ransomware?


Computer Security - Padlock. perspec_photo88

How do I know if my computer is at risk from the WannaCry ransomware - also known as "Wanna Decryptor" or "Wanna Crypt" - that impacted computers around the globe last week?

If you are running Microsoft Windows then your computer may be vulnerable.

  • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Visa and all earlier versions of Windows are not supported by Microsoft and may be particularly vulnerable.
  • Windows 7 no longer receives mainstream support, but does receive what Microsoft call "extended support", which includes urgent security patches.

Some organisations which still use unsupported versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, pay Microsoft for additional support and security updates that are not available to home users.

If you are not sure if you computer is at risk or if it is already infected you should download and install malware protection from a known vendor such as Kaspersky or Trend Micro who both provide software to help protect computers against ransomware and other malware.

Preventative measures you can take to protect computer include:

  • Ensure all recent Windows Updates are installed and that you are using a supported version of Windows.
  • Ensure your web browser (and other internet software, including any browser plug-ins you have installed, such as Adobe Flash) are up to date.
  • Install AntiVirus protection.
  • Perform regular backups (stored on an external hard drive or USB stick).
  • Don't download or run software that isn't from a reputable vendor.

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