In recent wake of the “WannaCry” ransomware attacks, I’ve put together a simple go-to list on ways to better protect your PC. Even if you have the best virus protection software, these steps will combat the numerous unusual ways malware can affect your machine.
- Never open malicious or “scammy” sounding emails. Attackers spend half their time coming up with authentic looking email messages, but you need to trust your gut and use common sense. If a message is from a random sender, name you don’t know, or just “off”, don’t open. These emails can contain links where the virus is further downloaded or even from the message itself as an .exe.
- Make sure your PC is up-to-date. The latest attack that hit over 100 countries was on PC’s running windows that were only a few months outdated. Make sure Automatic updates is turned on, Your web browser is the latest version, and Use IObit’s free Driver Booster to update drivers.
- Show known file types. In control panel- appearance- folder options- there is an option to “Hide extensions from know file types” uncheck this. Always show extensions, because what looks like a word program such as birthdaypresentlist.docx could actually have a hidden .exe at the end if this option was left on.
- Don’t click malicious links on social media, web pages, or in emails unless you trust the person or page. Clicking a bad link is like opening a door for the ransomware to waltz on in. Common sense.
- Avoid weird and unusual websites. Look for spelling and grammatical errors, or unusual spaces and symbols. If it feels off then it probably is off.
- Use an ad blocker. Google Chrome has “AdBlock”. It keeps all those annoying and “scammy” enough ads out of the way. It also protects your browser from fake ads that once clicked are a gateway to ransomware.
- Have good anti-virus AND anti-malware installed. There’s so many antivirus programs out there that work great, but windows 10 comes installed with Windows Defender and I also use Avast anti-virus and Malwarebytes.
- Use cloud backup like google drive or Dropbox for your really important documents. In case something does happen, you still have your most important documents.
I hope these tips and advice help, and lets’s stop these hackers from winning.