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Tips Following the 'WannaCry' Ransomware Attack

News Date: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 13:15

The WannaCry ransomware attacks have affected hundreds of thousands of victims in 150 countries. It’s not just businesses that are vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Personal devices are at risk as well. The Information Security Office at Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is offering some quick tips to help residents combat cyber threats.

Avoid suspicious emails: Don’t open emails from unknown senders or emails that you weren’t expecting, even if you think you know the sender. Malicious actors can spoof the sender name and make it look like it’s coming from someone with whom you regularly do business.

Be careful what you click: Don’t visit unknown websites or download anything from untrusted sources. If you click on a link and receive a warning, don’t go any further. These linked sites often host malware that will silently compromise your computer. The same rule applies for opening attachments you didn’t expect to receive.

Keep software and anti-virus updated: Only install anti-virus programs from a known and trusted source. Install patches and updates regularly to ensure your anti-virus program remains effective.

Back up data regularly: If you’re the victim of a hacking incident or ransomware, the only guaranteed way to repair your computer is to erase and re-install the system. Always save copies of your important data.

Contact the IT department: If you’re at work, notify your IT department of any incident and forward suspicious emails directly to them.

For more information, media may contact Natalia Derevyanny at natalia.derevyanny@cookcountyil.gov or 312.603.8286.

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The Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management integrates first responders, their departments and resources from 134 Cook County municipalities, and serves as the central agency in Cook County for coordinating efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from all incidents, whether man-made or natural. For more information, visit our website at www.cookcountyhomelandsecurity.org.