What the Tech? Protect yourself from Ransomware - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Protect yourself from Ransomware

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Sure we say "change your password" all the time, but even a strong password wouldn't protect a computer from a ransomware attack.

Here are a few things that will.

Keep your system up to date. Windows sent out an update in March for Windows 10 but many people didn't install it. If you're still running Windows XP...stop it. You should have ditched XP when Windows stopped supporting it 3 years ago. Upgrade to Windows 10 which will prevent some things getting to your computer. Some of you don't want to have to learn how to use it, but it's worth the trouble.

Keep all anti-malware and anti-virus software up to date. These don't prevent a ransomware attack but they will filter out some of the emails that carry ransomware.

Back up what you don't want to lose. Photos, music, important documents. You should have these stored in more than one place. Copy them to an external hard drive, or even a thumb drive like this. Plug it in, and drag and copy. Make sure your back up is not connected to the internet. A ransomware attack will shut down every drive on your computer if it's connected to the internet. So back it up and unplug.

You could use an online backup service. Carbonite is a $60 annual subscription. It runs in the background and saves every file that is added to the computer or is changed. It does this while you continue to work. If your computer is attacked, you can wipe it clean, remove the ransomware and download the online backup. Or put it on a new computer.

The best way to keep ransomware off your computer is to be mindful of any links you click. Never click on a link in spam email, about 40 percent of all spam email has ransomware. Don't be quick to click even if it's from someone you know. If you suspect it's a bad link, ask them what it is and where it came from.

Be careful out there. Ransomware attacks are expected to double this year. Your computer, because of what's on it, is one of the most valuable things in your home.

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