Last week, a global cyberattack impacted hundreds of thousands of computer systems around the world. Cybercriminals have deployed a malicious form of software known as ransomware, which typically locks up people’s data under threat of destruction unless a “ransom” is paid, to attack over 200,000 Windows computers in more than 150 countries. According to the New York Times, the cybercriminals behind the current WannaCry ransomware attack have generally targeted hospitals, academic institutions, blue-chip companies and other businesses.
How Does WannaCry Affect Me?
The recent WannaCry malware attacks did not impact Personal Capital, nor do they have the potential to expose your information while you are using our tools. You can use Personal Capital’s service safely and with confidence.
What Should I Do?
Even though the WannaCry ransomware attacks don’t specifically impact you as a Personal Capital user, this type of vulnerability is always a good reminder to practice good security hygiene, and protect your financial information on the internet. Our recommendations to all users are:
- Use a financial data aggregation service such as Personal Capital for viewing your financial data, rather than logging in directly to your bank website. This reduces exposure of your banking passwords on the Internet.
- Regularly monitor all of your financial accounts for unusual activity. Personal Capital’s financial dashboard, and our daily transaction monitoring email, are great ways to do this. We recommend that security-conscious users review their financial transactions at least twice per week.
- Always exercise good password hygiene at financial institutions or other sensitive websites. This includes using long, random passwords rather than simple words, not using the same password at multiple sites, and changing passwords on a regular basis.
- Do not open emails that seem suspicious or click on links in emails unless you are certain of the content and the sender.
- Perform regular backups of your personal computers to minimize the potential impact of a ransomware incident.
- Keep your personal computer software up to date with vendor-provided updates and patches, especially for the operating system, whether it be Windows or MacOS. For example, the WannaCry vulnerability was completely fixed in a March 2017 update from Microsoft – the only computers that were impacted were those running out-of-date or un-patched versions of Windows.