Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back with another edition of our weekly cybersecurity roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.
This week we’re coming to you with news about how Walmart has been sending offensive registration emails to thousands of users. As well as how a new Windows 10 update comes equipped with ransomware protection. And finally, how Windows aims to retire Internet Explorer by next year.
Starting in the early hours of Monday morning, people worldwide began receiving new user registration emails from Walmart.com, where the member name included in the email was actually a racist slur.
The registration emails were numerous, with thousands of individuals receiving a new email from Walmart with an offensive and racist opening message. According to reports, it’s not exactly clear why these emails were sent out, but the current belief is that someone acquired a list of email addresses and used them to create thousands of Walmart accounts, all of which contained a racial slur as the member name.
Earlier today, Walmart sent an email apologizing to those who received the offensive emails and stated that they are updating their account sign-up process to prevent these issues in the future.
“I am reaching out to let you know we are very sorry that you received an offensive and unacceptable email. We discovered that someone outside of the company created false Walmart accounts with the intent to offend our customers. We are working to update the account sign-up process to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Walmart Chief Customer Officer, Janey Whiteside, in an email to people receiving the email.
Curious? You can read up on the situation here.
Though not as common as other forms of malware, ransomware is still one of the nastiest types of threats you can have on your computer. Ransomware not only denies access to your data but also demands a ransom be paid. And criminals are increasingly turning to so-called “double extortion,” where they threaten to expose sensitive user data if a separate ransom isn’t paid.
With a recent update, computers using Windows 10 systems can now turn on ransomware protection using a feature within its Windows Defender application!
The process for accessing this feature is pretty simple. First, users can type in “Ransomware Protection” in the Windows 10 Cortana search bar (typically in the bottom left hand corner of the screen) then go to the “Ransomware Protection” screen. From there, you’re given the option to select “Controlled” folder access – you then have the option to select which folders you want to be protected.
While using Windows 10 Virus Defender is a good step towards protecting yourself against ransomware, there are still other options you should take into consideration as well. In the case that your antivirus doesn’t adequately protect you from malware, it’s always important to ensure your data is backed up. If you do get infected with ransomware, having a backup of your data can provide you with access to your data under any circumstance.
Need to brush up on your virus know-how? Check out our guide on ransomware here. You can also check out our guide to backing up your files here!
This past week, Microsoft announced that it would be taking the final steps towards retiring the beloved web browser, Internet Explorer.
In the announcement, Microsoft revealed its plans for phasing out Internet Explorer in favour of its new browser, Microsoft Edge. While using Internet Explorer is definitely worth its weight for nostalgia, over the years it’s become increasingly unpopular largely due to its lack of speed and security.
However, while Microsoft still plans to phase out support for IE (Internet Explorer) in the upcoming year, Microsoft Edge still has Internet Explorer mode (“IE mode”) built-in, so users have the opportunity to access legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge. Inevitably, Microsoft aims to make the transition from IE to Edge as easy as possible for its users.
Although IE will continue to run up until the final day of June 15, 2022, Microsoft still recommends IE users make the switch to a different web browser before the end date.
You can read more about the situation here!
That’s all for this week’s roundup folks! We hope you’re staying safe with all that’s going on, especially when it comes to your cybersecurity!