Protecting your private information from cyber attacks

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Residents in western Massachusetts are weary after a global cyber attack hit 150 countries.

22News is Working For You with steps you can take to keep your private information safe.

“I take care of my mom and I’d be afraid if her medical record gets leaked,” Fern Lee-Bingham, of West Springfield, said.

Lee-Bingham said she is fearful the “WannaCry” cyber attack could pose a threat to her mother’s medical records.

The attack shut down hospitals in the UK Friday, putting patients’ care and their personal information at risk.

“It’s disastrous,” Lee-Bingham said. “I’m gonna have to talk to a bunch of doctors to see what’s going to happen.”

The “ransomewar” holds your files hostage and locks you out of your computer, demanding a payment in order to regain access. A kill switch has supposedly been discovered by researchers to prevent the virus from spreading, but for now they say updating your software is the safest step to take.

“Certainly you want to make sure to shut everything down as soon as possible to legitimize the issue,” said Chris Bovino, of Northeast IT. “You wanna make sure not too much gets attacked.  It’s ignorance really, a lot of the smaller and medium business don’t like to pay for anti-virus cause its expensive, so they will kinda sneak by with the minimum.”

Bovino told 22News that this kind of virus can go undetected for quite some time, but usually it’s too late for those who haven’t protected their systems.

Experts warn if you receive an email asking you to click on the link, but you don’t know who the sender is, then don’t click.