Since Friday, the news has been dominated by the ransomware attack which has impacted heavily on a number of hospitals and GP practices across the UK – with organisations in up to 75 other countries also falling victim.

Over the weekend, it has been further reported that 150 countries around the world have been affected, impacting up to 200,000 people.

Our crime prevention partner GetSafeOnline has advice here for Windows XP users as well as important advice to help people protect themselves.

As the new working week begins, Get Safe Online and other experts are anticipating that more organisations, and possibly individuals, in this country and internationally may find themselves affected.

Ransomware – which is used by criminals to encrypt victim’s computer files until a financial ransom is paid (but this promise is frequently not honoured) – will lie undetected until a computer is switched on, with the additional consideration that existing infections can spread within computer networks.

This variety of ransomware affects business and home computers running Microsoft Windows XP, for which Microsoft ceased support in 2014, substantially increasing the possibility of security vulnerability for those still using it.

Certain government organisations still running the system have maintained support agreements with Microsoft – which include the provision of security updates.

The GetSafeOnline website has lots of good advice on how you can stay safe on-line.