Lehigh Valley

Protecting your business from cyberattacks

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The biggest cyber attack in history is still spreading around the globe, affecting hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries.

The attack accidentally began with the U.S. government. It was our own National Security Agency that allegedly figured out a vulnerability in software by Microsoft. Hackers then stole the information and created something called "ransomware."

"Ransomware is software that encrypts your files on your hard drive and they keep the private key unless you pay the ransom," said George Sanchez, owner of TeamLogic IT in Allentown.

The hackers demand payment in the cryptocurrency bitcoin to avoid detection. So far, no victims of this attack have called Sanchez.

"This particular one didn't happen to anyone that I know, but we have several customers that have been hit by ransomware," he said.

According to Sanchez, a few precautions can keep you and your company safe.

Two simple ones: lock your screen when you aren't in front of it, and always back up all of your data.

Also, be careful what you click.

"Often you'll get an email that looks like it's from somebody you know but you're not expecting it," he said. "People click on the links and inadvertently launch the ransomware or virus."

In addition, get creative with your passwords.

"Alot of people use pet names, or children's names, and those are often easy to guess because they'll put them on Facebook," said Sanchez.

Finally, always update your software. Companies like Microsoft often release patches, which essentially patch holes that have been found in software so people can't get in.

"Most of the patches that were needed to protect you from this ransomware were released already. So it's a matter of keeping your technology up to date," says Sanchez.

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