While experts estimate more than 200,000 computers have been affected so far, computer repair shops across Columbia say they haven't received calls with credible concerns.
But while the world watches to see whether they too will be affected, those same computer experts are offering up tips we can all use to make sure our information is protected.
- Always make sure your computer’s updated with the latest security update -- that includes Apple computers. For many years, Apple computers were believed to be immune to malware. But now that Macs have a large share of the market, computer experts say they’re not only susceptible but that breaches are increasingly more common.
- Make sure you have active anti-virus software installed.
- Use common sense and don’t buy into clickbait. Experts say it’s usually the pop-up offering something for free. But they say if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be wary of suspicious emails. Experts say hackers prey on the fact we all get into a routine habit of clicking around and going through our daily routine. Always verify where something comes from before opening up your computer to an unknown source.
- Always, always, always back up your hard drive. Do it frequently, and do it multiple ways. Think of this as insurance. Cloud-based services like Microsoft Drive instantaneously make copies of your files and work.
- Meanwhile, a hard drive is great for a regular back-up so that you have duplicates when all else fails.
Ransomware is nothing new, but the current attack is believed to be the biggest after being discovered by a security researcher in the U.K. The attack is a virus that demands money in exchange for users to regain access to their computer files.