Ransomware infects your computer by secretly installing malicious software that locks up your computer and encrypts you computer files. Money is demanded as a ransom. When paid, the files will be unlocked and unencrypted.
The WannaCry attack popped up a red screen with the words, “Oops, your files have been encrypted!” The hackers demanded money through online bitcoin payment - first $300 then rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.
1. Install Microsoft's patchThe article is worth reading, because it includes a link to information about if patching is impossible by disabling your computer's Server Message Block (SMB) service.
2. Backup your data
3. Install all Windows updates
Also use a trustworthy security software to protect yourself from future attacks.
In this day and age of heightened cyber-warfare, each of us should be diligent about protecting our electronic devices from ransomware and other malicious software.
Factbox: Don't click - What is the 'ransomware' WannaCry worm? - Reuters
AP Explains: What is ransomware?