In the wake of a cyberattack that infected tens of thousands of computers around the world, Long Island cybersecurity experts said home users and small-business owners should take preventive measures to avoid similar threats.

A program known as “WannaCry” took control of vulnerable computers — in many cases using pirated software that hadn’t been updated with security patches — and demanded payments in order to allow users to access their data, a type of malicious software known as “ransomware.”

Cybersecurity specialists said individuals and small companies can follow simple steps to decrease their vulnerability to a ransomware attack:

Regularly install updates to your operating system

“To prevent a ransomware attack, a couple of simple things can be done,” said Anita D’Amico, CEO of Code Dx Inc., a Northport company that diagnoses software security vulnerabilities.

“Installing the latest updates on your operating system, programs and applications is crucial.” D’Amico, who has worked in cybersecurity since the mid-90s, recommends setting a configuration on your computer that searches for software updates automatically.

Steve Rubin, a partner and co-chair of Garden City law firm Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP, who specializes in cybersecurity cases, said it’s important to make sure you have enough space on your computer for updates.

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