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WannaCry ransomware attack: How to protect your data online

WannaCry ransomware attack: How to protect your data online
  • The recent WannaCrycyber attack hit over 230,000 computers in 150 countries
  • Ebuyer offers tips on how to protect your data from online ransomware

More and more Brits are choosing to store essential personal information on their PCs. From wedding photos and important passwords, to using personal laptops to work from home, UK residents are leaving pertinent data and memories open and vulnerable to ransomware and online fraud.

Earlier this month, businesses and organisations of all sizes from around the world were hit by a large-scale cyber attack, named WannaCry, proving that ransomware should be a concern for anyone who stores important data on a computer or laptop that is connected to the web.

WannaCry is a form of ransomware, meaning it is a computer virus which encrypts files, making a computer unusable, and demands payment in exchange for unlocking the files.

So far, WannaCry has infected over 230,000 computers in 150 different countries. High-profile victims include the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which was forced to turn away patients at several trusts over the weekend, as well as Spanish telecoms company Telefónica and courier service FedEx.

However, it is not just businesses which are at risk. Any individual using an old version of Microsoft Windows may be a target for ransomware, which targets vulnerabilities in old operating systems.

With this in mind, Ebuyer has developed some top tips for consumers to keep them safe from online ransomware:

  1. Do not open emails from senders that you don’t know.
  2. Update all computers you use to the latest version of Windows – the National Cyber Security Centre has details on how to do that on their website.
  3. For those using Windows XP, which is no longer officially supported, Microsoft took the unprecedented step of issuing a security update over the weekend – which can be downloaded from their onsite download centre.
  4. Whether you’re at home or on a business network, make sure you’re running antivirus software that’s kept up-to-date.
  5. Regularly backup files to the cloud or external storage.

Paul Lyon IT Director at Ebuyer said: “The cyber attacks on the NHS and the resulting fallout have once again brought into focus the importance of security both at home and in the office. Ransomware has been around for some time but this is by far the most high-profile attack.

“Cybercrime is a growing industry and criminals are becoming significantly more sophisticated and their attacks more destructive. New threats are constantly being developed. Businesses of all sizes, as well as the ordinary home user, are vulnerable to attack and should always be on their guard.”

To find out more about ransomware and how you can protect yourself, please visit:

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