This is a reply to myself as this community seems oblivious to the crypro-ransom threat. Or, perhaps, my query was too simple/basic that the answer is know to all (except me).
Anyhow, this is what I have found:
I password protected my My Book Duo without checking the Enable Auto Unlock for user. Once rebooted, or after a reconnect, the drive does NOT show up in Explorer and Disk Manager unless it’s unlocked. Per Disk Manager, the drive is not initialized. If I try to initialize, I get an error: The Media is Write Protected. And, if not initialized, the way I see it, a crypto-ransom trojan variant or virus can’t do harm to same.
Awakening the computer from sleep/standby may be a different story, as the drive remains mounted (initialized) during this sequence, albeit fully password protected. So, on resume from sleep the drive is visible and accessible through the folder structure all the way down to a folder with protected files. There I get a warning that the folder/files are password protected and not accessible. Although I’m safe from snooping … I may not be safe against the crypto-ransom bad guys.
The safe way to go seems to be NOT to unlock/initialize the drive after a boot/reboot or after a drive connect/reconnect as per my earlier message. If there is a WD guy ot there lurking, can you please confirm that the above is correct, or, if not, what your thoughts are. Thanks.