Monday 11 December 2017

How to protect your computer from future cyber attacks

Plus five steps to take when logging in this morning

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

In light of the current cyber attacks which have affected more than 200,000 people in over 150 countries, Richard Brown, director of the national cyber security centre, has advised that the most common way of dealing with the threat of cyber attacks is good practice, especially the updating of anti-virus systems regularly.

Speaking on Rte Radio One this morning Brown said that the current issue should give greater emphasis to IT security as a general practice. People have also been advised to back-up their files on a regular basis.

As of yet no decryption of this virus has been found and it has spread particularly quickly.

As the threat continues, we have the top five steps you should take when logging into your computer this morning.

1. Think before you click

If you notice anything unusual do not log into your email until you have cleared it with your company’s IT personnel.

2. Emails & files

Don’t open any unusual emails or files which you have received, especially unusual emails with attachments.

3. Software updates

Ensure that the right anti-virus updates have taken place.

Microsoft has issued a number of software updates over the weekend, install the updates as soon as you have the opportunity to do so. These updates will be able to deal with the virus.

Updates have also been issued for Window’s XP which should be installed.

4. Don’t pay ransoms

Messages have been appearing on infected computers saying that the computer has been locked and demanding that people pay up to $600 or files on the computer will be deleted. People are being advised not to pay the ransom.

Should you receive this message immediately contact a member of your company’s IT team.

5. Isolate affected computers

If you think that computers in your network have become infected, immediately isolate the affected computers from your company’s network to minimise the chances of the spread of infection.

If you have a work laptop and think that it has been affected do not connect it to the office wifi as it could infect other computers on the network.

 

Phones and tablets have not been affected by this virus.

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