Meltdown and Spectre: What should I do?

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Over the past few days there has been a media frenzy regarding the vulnerabilities which have been identified in microprocessors and this has led to a huge amount of speculation as to how safe our computers are and what steps we can take to protect them.

Despite all the rhetoric it is important to understand that these vulnerabilities are quite specific and to use them to harvest data is quite complicated so they are unlikely to be exploited in simple malware in the short term.

This particular type of vulnerability is something which will cause a headache for large companies who handle high volumes of data and cloud based companies who service many clients and they will be working now to address these issues.

For us, the general public, there is actually very little risk to our own PC’s

To ensure you stay safe there are four simple steps to take;

  1. Don’t panic (It’s unlikely this will affect you)
  2. Ensure you are keeping your operating system software up to date
  3. Ensure you are keeping your security software up-to-date
  4. Ensure you have a secure password which is different on each service you use (This helps to minimise the damage if any one service is affected)

And can I please also remind you that when this kind of exploit becomes public we see a big rise in the number of scam telephone calls purporting to have ‘identified an issues with your PC’ Please, please PLEASE ignore any calls you receive in that way. I absolutely promise that BT, Microsoft, TalkTalk, Virgin and all the other companies will not be phoning you if your computer has a problem, About the only reason they might phone you would be if you haven’t paid your bill!!!

If anyone cold calls you and suggests you have a problem with your Computer then put the phone down and simply run a virus scan instead. If you are still concerned then give me a quick call and I will put your mind at rest.

Remember ONLY Scammers ring you about your PC and they always end up costing you unnecessary money!!!