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The University of Southampton

Ransomware cyber-attack: how to stay safe by keeping your own devices up to date

Published: 19 May 2017
Photo of students tablet computer

You will be aware from widespread media coverage of the recent ransomware cyber-attack which significantly impacted the NHS and many other organisations across the world.

Following extensive work over the weekend, iSolutions is continuing in its effort to safe-guard your computers and files against such attacks. If you are using University provided Windows computer you don't need to do anything however if you have an Apple or Linux device; bring your own device to use at work or have a specialist computer that you manage yourself then you would need to take some actions to ensure your information and equipment are protected as best as possible. How can you stay safe then?

Thankfully, companies such as Microsoft and Apple make it easy for you to stay safe by providing updates which help to protect your device against threats such as ransomware, viruses and other attacks. It is vitally important you make sure your device is receiving these updates. Please paste the link into your browser for your operating system below to find an article that will show you how to check you are getting these updates:


Windows 10:

Windows 8.1:

Windows 8:

Windows 7:

Windows Vista:

Windows XP is no longer supported and so is not a secure operating system to use. However, Microsoft have released a special patch to protect against the recent Wannacry ransomware attack. You can obtain it from here by pasting into your browser:

For other Operating Systems please paste the details below into your browser:

MacOS/OSX: - These instructions are for El Capitan but should work on older versions also.

iOS (iPhone/iPad):


Remember - This does not apply to iSolutions-managed UOS computers which are already set to receive updates.


It is also important to have an up-to-date antivirus program on your device. There are many options available both free and paid for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android systems.

Windows 8 and 10 systems have the free Microsoft program Windows Defender installed by default. Older versions of Windows can install Microsoft Security Essentials by pasting these details into your browser:

Mac antivirus programs can be found in the App Store on your iMacs and MacBook’s, one such example can be found by pasting these details into your browser:

Android anti-virus programs can be found in Google Play.

Remember - This does not apply to iSolutions-managed UOS computers which come with Symantec Enterprise antivirus installed.

Phishing Emails

The recent ransomware cyber-attack spread across the world by people clicking on links in phishing emails. Please guard yourself against this type of spam, iSolutions advice on how to spot phishing messages can be found by pasting these details into your browser:


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