WannaCry Ransomware Update: All Typetec customers safe.

After a weekend of data breaches in some of the largest organisations in Europe, you may be worried about your business and whether your IT is safe? We’re here to tell you that if you’re a customer of Typetec or Webroot, who help provide our IT Security solutions, you’re covered! However, it’s essential that you keep your systems up to date and educate your staff on the dangers of phishing, ransomware, social engineering and other common attack vectors.

Tips to help you avoid falling victim to ransomware

With all of the news about data breaches and other cybercriminal activity, you may have heard the term “ransomware” mentioned. But what is it exactly?

In short, ransomware is harmful software (malware) that allows criminals to use extortion and hold your computer and the files for a big ransom fee.

Recognising ransomware

Here’s how many ransomware schemes work: Malware secretly installs itself on a computer that lacks sufficient protection to block it. This could happen through a Web page, email attachment, or a link on social media sites. Once installed, the ransomware could lock certain files, or even the entire computer, so the user can’t access it.

Next comes the extortion. Victims may see a visual notice, or hear an audio file, claiming the computer has been locked by law enforcement or some large corporation with the intent to scare people into action. The computer is then locked, or the files are encrypted until the ransom is paid. An alternate version of ransomware is ‘scareware,’ which claims that the victim’s computer has a virus. In either case, if this happens to you, the crooks behind it all will attempt to strong arm you into paying money before you can access your computer or files again normally.

At this point, your PC is being held for ransom—hence the name. So how can you help prevent this from happening?

Helping prevent ransomware

  • Don’t interact with spam email. By clicking links or opening suspicious attachments, you could be inviting ransomware, or other malware, onto your computer. Just delete spam immediately without opening it.
  • Avoid suspicious sites and downloads. Web sites that illegally promise free software, music, and movies are often bait to lure in unsuspecting victims. This plays into the theme of the ransomware pretending to originate from law enforcement. If you have teens in your home, who often like to visit such dubious sites, make them aware of this malware danger.
  • Arm your PC with strong, up-to-date security software. The right protection will recognize dangerous sites, downloads, and spam—stopping the ransomware dead in its digital tracks before it can install itself. Make sure your protection stays current though, or it won’t be able to recognize new threats.
  • Back-up your files often.  as in most cases when ransomware hits, it is difficult to remove. Even if you do successfully remove the malware, your files may still remain inaccessible.
  • Keep your OS updated.  malware like this finds ‘vulnerabilities’ or weak spots in your system if it hasn’t been updated in a while