The recent massive ransomware cyber attack, which has affected more than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries so far, is being called the biggest cyber attack the world has seen. This particular virus is thought to be spread mainly a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft released a security patch for in March, but people who had not updated their systems were still at risk. The ransomware virus locks people out of their computer files until they pay a ransom to the hackers. Here, what you need to know to take control of your personal information security.
As soon as I got off the phone with security expert Robert Siciliano, I took his advice.
I updated my MacBook Air operating system. All it took was hitting a couple of keys and letting the download finish.
But of course I'd been putting it off.
My personal motto: if it's not a must, let it rust.
Siciliano is the opposite.
He not only stays on top of everything, he anticipates trouble and takes all necessary measures to avoid it.
He advises the rest of us to do the same.
"There's bad guys everywhere," he insists. "They live and function among us. But a lot of people think nothing is going to happen to them. They say, 'I don't want to be paranoid.'
"But taking control of personal security and information security is not a sign of mental illness. It's like wearing your seat belt."
As for OS systems, he warns, "Keep them and all software updated. Pay attention to update pop-ups. It's critical for functionality and security."
Updates often provide increased security, he explains, and just as with cars, things run better when they're refreshed.
"Cars wear out so occasionally you put in new brakes, get a new set of tires, change the oil. Otherwise, they can become safety and security hazards. It's the same with software. Make use of the updates provided."
Siciliano works for AnchorFree (anchorfree.com) which offers free and premium hotspot shields that provide privacy protection, Wi-Fi security, anonymous web browsing and Wi-Fi security.
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