Over the weekend, a ransomware-like program infected more than 10,000 laptops in 112 countries. The initial ransomware, called WannaCry, affects Microsoft devices using Windows 10.
While a researcher created one solution for the initial malware, more than 450 of its variants are still circulating the internet. Here are three tips for protecting your device and information from ransomware.
- Update your system
- WannaCry takes advantage of a flaw in Windows 10 design. Microsoft previously released a patch for the flaw that significantly reduces vulnerability. Users with enabled auto-update have already installed the patch, but the patch is also available for download online through Microsoft’s website.
- Use verified software
- Unverified, or pirated, software is not officially registered, and users will not receive important system updates. While pirated software may be free at first, its security risks are costly.
- Backup your information
- Storing important data in a cloud service or alternate device ensures user are able to access information even when a device is compromised. Backing up information not only protects important files, images and messages, but can also clear out space on a heavily used device.
- Take security precautions
- Taking extra security precautions, such as installing an extra security program, can add an extra layer of information protection. Aside from installing additional security programs, staying wary of public networks and emails from unknown sources also decrease chances of falling victim to ransomware.