In recent days, the 'WannaCry' ransomware has been causing chaos worldwide for individuals, businesses and public bodies. The virus encrypts data on infected computers then asks users to pay a "ransom" in order to receive a code that unencrypts the data. However, this kind of infection can be avoided in most cases by following a few simple steps.
1. Always keep your antivirus software and operating system up to date. Microsoft immediately reacted by releasing a security patch for users to download;
2. Never open email attachments from unknown contacts, no matter what the file type;
3. Never click on links sent by email from unknown contacts;
4. Delete and mark as spam any emails you receive from unknown senders;
5. Don't browse or click on links featured on websites that aren't approved by your internet browser;
6. Never hook up unknown external storage devices (hard drive, USB stick, CD, etc.) to your computer;
7. Regularly backup files to an external hard drive that is then disconnected from your computer;
8. If your PC does get infected, never pay the "ransom" - there's no guarantee that your files will be recovered.