How safe is your computer following worldwide cyber attack?

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 16 May 2017

Following Friday's cyber-attack that struck NHS hospitals and services up and down the country, including Grimsby hospital trust, are you confident your computer is protected from online criminals?

While Humberside Police teams are not leading the investigation into the attacks on the hospital trusts in our area which have been targeted, they are today offering advice on how to keep you, your family and your business safe.

Whatever you use your computer for, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent 80 per cent of all cyber crime.

And you don't have to be a technical genius to do it.

Detective Inspector Kevin Foster said: “Our current understanding is the attack takes advantage of a Trojan (a malicious programme which is downloaded by the unsuspecting user, hidden in what appears to be a harmless file) named WannaCry and exploits a known vulnerability in Windows Systems.

“An upgrade (also known as a patch) to resolve this vulnerability has been available since March this year and individuals/businesses should check the date signatures for their antivirus software.

“It is always important to do as much as possible to make sure that your computers are safe and secure, both at home and in the workplace.

“Some of the most basic steps you can take are ensuring you have robust passwords, antivirus software – that you use and keep updated – and that you download any suggested updates for the software and programmes you use, as they often contain the most up to date security information that can stop attacks getting through."

All this may sound complicated, but it's actually very easy to do. Here are our top tips:

  • Don't open attachments or respond to emails from unknown sources – these are classic ways of infecting computers with viruses.
  • If you're suspicious of an email, check if it is on a list of known spam and scam emails that many internet security software firms feature on their websites.
  • Many email providers have spam filtering as standard. Make sure yours is switched on and check your junk mail periodically to make sure no legitimate emails are being stopped.
  • Most internet security packages also include spam blocking. Ensure it's on and updated regularly.
  • Run Windows updates regularly
  • Make sure your antivirus product is up to date and run a scan. If you don't have one, install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor
  • If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – you can't be held to ransom if you've got the data somewhere else.
  • Only install apps from official app stores as they offer better levels of protection that some third party stores.
  • Create regular back-ups of your important files to a device that isn't left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.



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