15 May 2017
Over the past weekend, thousands of computers around the world were infected with a malicious piece of software called WannaCry. There is risk that this malware may continue to spread, or even encourage copycat activity.
WannaCry is the latest high profile case of cyber attack, and unfortunately malware spreads like these can happen quite often. InternetNZ would like to provide advice to all Internet users with some basic tips that may help prevent an infection from WannaCry and also provide some defence against other issues in the future.
“WannaCry provides all Internet users with a number of useful lessons, and highlights some easy steps that can help prevent cyber security risks,” says Jordan Carter, InternetNZ Chief Executive.
InternetNZ recommends all computer users consider the following advice:
Turn on automatic updates or ensure all software (including anti-virus) and your Operating System are patched/updated. The WannaCry malware targets Windows systems, and Microsoft has released a patch for its software that prevents it from taking hold (this patch is called MS17-010).
You should also be running, or planning to move to, the most recent version of your operating system of choice (e.g. Windows 10 or macOS 10.12).
Backup your files regularly, and keep at least one backup offline. WannaCry is a type of malware that encrypts your files and ransoms them back to you, meaning that it first blocks access to your files and then deletes them if you don’t pay the ransom.
Take care with your email, and don’t open unexpected attachments or click on links in emails. Initial infections from WannaCry may have spread through email. Care with attachments and suspicious links can prevent similar infections.
“These days, we put so much of our personal information online and we should all take extra care to help protect our data and ourselves on the Internet.
“These are some basic steps that we encourage all Internet users to take to help better protect themselves from WannaCry and other risks,” says Carter.
For more information, you can read this webpage from CERTNZ: