Ransomware attacks spreading across the globe - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ransomware attacks spreading across the globe

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Malicious ransomware has been the source of recent headlines across the globe.

The string of malicious software is known as "WannaCry" and has already infected close to 57,000 computers.

"So you may have a lot of documents or images, those types of files are usually affected by the ransomware. It scrambles them so you can't access them anymore without some key to unlock it," says WFMJ Computer Resource Director Ken Sechrist. 

You may not even realize you're being attacked by ransomware until it's too late. 

Sechrist adds that most ransomware will show up in email form asking you to click on a link such as a Google doc, or an IRS message demanding money. 

A bank or a hospital isn't less at risk than you are at home. There are inexpensive steps you can take to protect your computer. 

Don't click any suspicious or poorly worded links in an email, and if you have an older operating system such as Windows XP, update it. And for businesses, the fix is just as easy. 

"Have your security patches updated in the operating systems that you're running and have a good backup. If you strip everything else away that's the best way to stay protected," says owner of Magical Computing Solutions Tony Roncone. 

Roncone advises to never pay the ransom requested, and that malware software won't be an end-all fix; bottom line is to update your operating system as frequently as possible.

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