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Protect yourself: Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack highlights cybersecurity vulnerability

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 7:03 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Millions of Americans felt the effects of the colonial pipeline ransomware hack. Whether it be a foreign or domestic threat, our computers are under attack every single day.

ITPro.TV Co-Founder Don Pezet said there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to ransomware starting with keeping your software up to date.

“When your computer gets encrypted, your files get locked, that’s a terrible feeling when you’ve lost your data and now someone wants you to pay money to get your own data back,” said Pezet. “Computers aren’t like cars. Cars you can run it until it stops running but a computer, if you’ve had it for 7 years it’s not okay. You’re not getting security updates anymore,” Pezet said.

RELATED STORY: NCFL gas stations running dry as Colonial Pipeline remains shut down

Utilizing things like two-factor authentication, cloud services to save backup copies of your data, keeping different passwords for each account can go a long way according to Pezet.

“That’s where a password manager can help with that, you don’t have to remember the password for all you can just remember the one for your password manager,” Pezet said.

Should you find yourself a victim of a cyberattack, the first thing he said you should do is to contact the authorities.

“The next thing you should do is start to evaluate all of your accounts, if one of your accounts is compromised you should assume all of your accounts are compromised,” said Pezet. “All these steps are really the same thing we do for protecting our home if you think about a security system protecting your home. It helps before a break-in. It doesn’t help after a break-in.”

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