I had a call from my lovely Aunty V during the week, after the news came out about yet another 'ransomware' attack.
She asked me if I could explain a term that was being used in news reports, about the need to 'patch' your computer to ensure that you are protected against attacks.
What does 'patching' mean?
Microsoft, Apple, Google (i.e. Alphabet) are constantly working on the software that runs our computers and mobile devices (know as operating systems), to ensure that evil-doers cannot gain access to our devices and lives via the internet.
Microsoft's computer operating system is Windows. Apple's computer operating system is OS X or, more recently, MacOS. Apple mobile devices run iOS, and many other mobile devices run Google's Android operating system.
All of these operating systems are, at times, targeted by hackers who try to find 'holes' in the security of these system, so that they can sneak in and steal stuff from computers that run the operating system - or even (in the case of ransomware) scramble all the information that is on the computer so that we can no longer use it.
(I'll leave you to read up about ransomware in this article from Wikipedia: Ransomware - Wikipedia.)
Most commonly, it is Windows that is the target of such attacks (as has been the case with the last two highly publicised 'ransomware' attacks).
Microsoft, Apple and Google have, in most cases, already 'patched' the hole in their operating system security, and 'released' that patch as an 'update' to our computers' operating systems.
Any computer on which the 'patch' is installed is protected if you, inadvertently, click on a nasty link or file in an email or on a website that might have otherwise taken advantage of the security hole.
Are you patched?
On some computers and mobile devices, these updates (patches) are automatically installed.
The problem is that many computers have not been 'patched' because the business or individual user of the computer has not installed the updates that have been made available.
This has left them at risk of falling victim to the ransomware attacks that seem to be getting more and more frequent.
How to check and how to patch
The big question is how do you 'patch' your computer or device.
To help you with this, we have included some 'how to' articles about below, that will (hopefully) help you ensure your computer or mobile device is up to date with all 'patches'.
We are here to help if you need assistance
We know that for many of our clients and subscribers, the information provided in the above articles will still leave them unsure how to proceed.
If you need assistance with this area, iTandCoffee is available for one-on-one appointments at the shop in High Street Glen Iris, or in your own home (depending on location).
Over-the-phone support can also be provided if required.
Just call 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Call 1300 885 420
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