You cannot have missed the news over the weekend about the ransomware attacks that affected the NHS. Please be assured that this occurred because they are still using Windows XP, which you of course are not, and had not applied critical updates posted in March, which of course you did.

That said, it is important that you are extra vigilant in the next couple of weeks. The initial infection comes as an email attachment, and it then spreads to vulnerable machines over the network with no further human assistance. If you are not expecting an attachment, don’t know the sender or don’t know what the attachment is, simply do not open it before verifying – call them if necessary.

In addition, please make absolutely certain that your computers are up to date. You do this by clicking on Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates for Windows 7 or Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates for Windows 10. Any critical updates should be checked and installed before restarting the computer when prompted.

If you’re using OSX, iOS, Android or Linux, you’re safer than most everybody else. However, the advice still applies. Ignorance is neither defence nor protection! This was a hideous attack but vigilant people with computers that are kept up to date should not be affected.