There are a multitude of articles reporting on the new computer virus/ransomware (Reuters, Yahoo Tech, and The Verge). Rather than comment, let me share three timeless tips on preventing virus attacks on your computer.
1. Do not open emails from strangers. While this seems obvious, the majority of cyber crimes today are perpetuated by human engineering, typically in the form of emails with malicious links. Some of these emails look really, really authentic. Take a two second pause to evaluate the look of the email. Does everything look perfect? Table alignment, lines, text size and font, grammar errors, etc. Little inconsistencies generally point to hackers.
2. Mouse over the link before clicking. When you mouse over a link, the email system or browser will display the actual link you are about to click. It is easy to mask or fake the visual website address–this is what you see in the text. They can’t fake the actual destination website address. If you see misspellings and/or different domains from normal, delete.
3. Report the emails to your IT/Security Departments. These folks are working very hard to prevent these types of attacks. The more information they have the better they can defend you.