A massive ransomware attack has been spreading around the globe and hit over 150 countries including Russia, India and UK. This ransomware, WannaCry, leverages a Windows vulnerability to infect a PC as long as victims are connect to Internet. Once infected, all files will be locked and victims have to pay a ransom by the deadline to regain control of the PC.
This outbreak began in early May and over thousands of hospitals, universities, organizations have been affected. Officials say this attack has not finished yet and the situation may be even worse.
Below are the tips to protect yourself from the WannaCry malware (and other ransomware out there):
1. Update your system immediately
If your computer runs Windows, make sure your system has been updated to the latest version. Security updates have been released to fix the vulnerability exploited by the WannaCry ransomware. Microsoft even takes “highly unusual” steps to issue fixes for older versions like Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.
Unpatched PCs are at risk. To install this security patch, you can use Windows Update to install the latest updates. If you are a 360 Total Security user, you can find Patch Up in Tool Box. With one click, this feature will check and install important system updates which are available.
(Direct download for Windows XP, 8, 2003 security updates: Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64, Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86, Windows XP SP2 x64, Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86, Windows 8 x86, Windows 8 x64)
2. Back up important data first
“WannaCry” and other ransomware hijack all your data until a ransom is paid to unlock them. Having your data backed up regularly can save you a big amount of money if your PC is unfortunately infected.
To save your most important data, you can use an external hard drive that is not connected to the Internet, so that online threats will not be able to affect your files. Another good option is the cloud-storage service, such as Apple iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox.
You can also use 360 Document Protector, an app specifically designed to protect your data against ransomware attacks. This tool combines real-time malware monitoring, automatic backup, and built-in decryption tools to ensure your PC security.
3. Use an antivirus program to prevent potential attacks
An antivirus program can effectively prevent cyber threats from harming your PC. Viruses have nowhere to hide and malicious program will be blocked in time when you accidentally download one from a suspicious site.
360 Total Security offers ransomware blocking, which blocks known ransomware, and also quarantines suspicious programs which conduct behaviors similar to what ransomware usually does. For example, if a program keeps modifying your files in a short period, 360 Total Security will block it and send you a timely warning.
There is no decryption tool for the WannaCry ransomware at this moment. If you are unluckily infected, in the worst case you may have to pay the attackers to save your data. We don’t suggest this unsavory approach; instead, you can cut off the Internet connection immediately and turn to security experts or wait for the decryption tool. To prevent this from happening, install the security patches and back up all important files NOW to protect yourself.