Virus update: Protect your business

From David Tranter, TranTech Computers

A huge week for the internet security world this week, with the latest virus "Wannacry" hitting literally thousands of systems globally.

In a nut shell, the virus attacks systems via a security flaw in Windows, then encrypts all of the files on each infected machine, rendering the system useless.

So what can you do to boost your security and help avoid such issues? Unfortunately, there is no one answer - unless you want to unplug from the online world, which might make it a little hard to run your business.

The best advice I can offer is adding layers. And having a backup plan. 

Update: In this case, keeping all of your computer’s operating system fully updated keeps you safe. So, doing those annoying Windows updates is worthwhile.  Even on a Mac, make sure you stay up to date.

Anti-Virus: No one anti-virus is the golden bullet, but having protection is important.

Firewall: Don’t turn it off.

Email: If in doubt, throw it out. Be wary of clicking suspicious links and attachments in your emails.

Password: Stop using the same password on every website you go to. Yes, it is annoying to remember but programs like LastPass, Keeper and Dashlane help a lot.

2-Step Authentication: Add an extra layer of protection to your passwords. You can do this on most major websites.

Backup: Get local backups and online backups - you can never have too many backups. Ask your friendly IT provider for help.

Upgrade: If you have old machines running Windows XP, upgrade the system or at least disconnect them from the network. The reason many systems have been affected was because they were running an old operating system. Windows XP has not been updated for over 3 years - it's over people!

If you do get ransomed from this virus or any online fraud, you can report it to ACORN at  Police can only act on the information reported, so always report any cybercrime to ACORN.