Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad news. Computer chips manufactured by Intel, Arm and AMD essential to the operation of your computer have recently been disclosed to have serious flaws that have been called Spectre and Meltdown that make the computers using these chips vulnerable to being hacked such that all of your data could be stolen. The problem was discovered last year, but the problem has existed for more than twenty years, however, it was not publicly disclosed until now. To date, it does not appear that these vulnerabilities have been exploited by hackers, however, now that they have been publicly identified it is a race between computer companies to develop software updates to patch the flaws and hackers seeking to capitalize on the flaws.
The good news is that in order for a hacker to exploit these vulnerabilities and steal your data, you would have to download the malware necessary to accomplish this, which would most likely be sent to you by way of a phishing or spear phishing email. So if you avoid downloading the malware, you should be safe.
As soon as the software security updates are available to patch these problems, I will let you know about them and how to install them. As always, it is important to update all of your software as soon as security updates become available in order avoid threats to the security of your data. Additionally, in order to avoid downloading any malware that may attempt to exploit these vulnerabilities at this time, you should follow my standard advice which is to never click on links in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that they are legitimate.