Microsoft Just Issued This Urgent Warning for All Windows Users
You'll want to take extra precautions to ensure your data is protected.
Keeping yourself safe online is a daunting task. Cyber scams run rampant, and it seems as if hackers and swindlers just keep getting more creative. Different scams seek to lure you in and steal your information by asking you to act on an urgent message, and it can often be hard to distinguish the legitimate from the not. To make matters worse, you could also be subject to attacks without immediately realizing it. Read on to learn about the major warning Microsoft just issued for all Windows users.
Microsoft actively works to keep your operating system safe, but it is not without its flaws.
According to Android Authority, the latest version of Windows, Windows 11, is the most secure, working to keep your information protected at home or at work. But like other computer operating systems, Windows is not immune to attacks from cybercriminals. In fact, over the past three months of 2022, nearly 300 flaws have been discovered on Windows platforms, according to Forbes. While Microsoft has worked to control and patch these flaws, Forbes noted "there is much room for improvement," as yet another serious issue has surfaced this month.
If you are a Windows user, Microsoft wants you to heed this warning.
In a "Patch Tuesday" update issued by Microsoft, the company confirmed it had identified nearly 120 vulnerabilities, also known as weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your system. As reported by Forbes, vulnerabilities were found across Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, and all versions of Windows Server. Two exploits have been given a score of 9.8 out of 10 using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System—which measures the severity of these vulnerabilities. Additionally, Forbes reported that two "zero-day flaws," meaning weaknesses that have been discovered by hackers before the vendor, are already being exploited by cybercriminals.
Information is being restricted by Microsoft "to protect users," but four specific threats were cited by Forbes. Two of these threats are of particular concern, as they allow for remote code execution (RCE), which exposes private user data that hackers can then use for ransomware extortion.
Here are the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
To best keep your computer and your data safe, your Windows operating system needs to be updated. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will be issuing the April 2022 "Patch Tuesday" update, Forbes said, but you can also do a manual check for the update now. To do so, click the Start menu, then the gear icon or "Settings," then "Windows Update," and "Check For Updates."
Microsoft also lists best practices in an article entitled "Prevent malware infection," noting that keeping software updated allows users "to benefit from a host of built-in security enhancements." You will also want to be mindful of the links and attachments you click, which can open malware and lead to a download without your knowledge. Malicious or compromised websites are another way your system can get infected with malware, according to Microsoft.
Google has also been a victim of security breaches as of late.
Last week, Google made a similar announcement about multiple new hacks of its Chrome browser. Also reported by Forbes, a total of 11 hacks were confirmed, nine of which were categorized as "high" threats, and two of which were categorized as "medium." Windows users will need to be wary of this warning if they also use Chrome to search the web. These hacks also affected those who use Apple/Mac platforms and the Linux desktop.
Just as you update your Windows operating system, you also need to update Chrome. Google is rolling out the update for all three platforms over the coming weeks, and if it is currently available, you may see "Update" highlighted in green in the top right corner of your browser window. To manually check for an update, click the three dots in the top right corner of your browser, click "Help," then "About Google Chrome." The system will bring you to a page to check for updates and instruct you to relaunch Chrome in order to finish updating.