The news is ramping up on the potential for bad things happening. This not great timing for many computer users out there, whether it be for professional or amateur users currently in the middle of upgrading operating systems. With malware, viruses and ransomware in the media lately the addition of potential increases in cyber-attacks adds even more stress to the task of 24/7 system maintenance. On a user level, good housekeeping is essential, along with prudent patching, basic firewall and antivirus updating including routine monitoring.
I have a little more confidence in my Linux systems, but Windows OS can be secured and protected if you put some time into basic system upkeep. Having a good backup procedure and preparation for system restore are always a priority for any true system integrity. Avoiding sketchy web sites, odd unexpected emails, and unsecured file downloads will also help prevent some unwanted problems. In such tense times as this everyone should be a little more aware of what their computer systems are doing in case some odd behavior is presented potentially indicating a suspect or potentially corrupted state.
I’m sure the media will let us all know after something bad has happened to a computer system or network somewhere, but knowing after the fact of such an incident is not as useful as preventative procedures that could be applied before unwanted issues come to light. Now, this doesn’t mean to start panicking and upping your level of hyper paranoia, but it also doesn’t mean disregarding sensible system maintenance.
Is your system up to date, antivirus current, firewall turned on, network connection secure? You might want to check. Do you have all your critical files backed up, do you have a restore point for your system, do you know how to restore your system if needed? One thing I think a lot of people and even some organizations tend to slack off a little on is encryption for their files and hard drives – including external drives (USB, sd cards, backup drives, etc. etc.)
Everything I mentioned above you probably already know and do, so this is nothing more than a reminder. If half of what is even reported by the media is true, you might want to keep an eye on your computer.