I’ll keep it short and sweet today, because this is VERY important for Windows users. The WannaCry ransomware attack you’ve been hearing about lately is not limited to big companies. This nasty little program can be unleashed on virtually any Windows computer, going all the way back to XP.
Microsoft became aware of the security hole in March of this year and quickly released a patch, so if you’ve been keeping up with your Windows Update “critical” patches, you’re in good shape. If not, you could be victimized by this malware, which encrypts every file on your hard drive and demands payment in Bitcoin to unlock them. To avoid that horrible fate, turn on Windows Update and let it run all “critical” updates.
To access the Windows Update tool, enter “Windows Update” in the Windows search bar at the bottom of your Windows screen for versions Vista, 7 or 10. For other versions of Windows, see this Microsoft page to get the correct patch or instructions for your machine.
This is one of those types of malware that can spread across networks, so you will also want to ensure any Windows computers on your network have been updated with the security patch. If you don’t and another computer on your network gets infected, every unpatched Windows machine on your network is toast.
If you want to learn the full story on WannaCry, read this post from the excellent and reliable Tom’s Guide.
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