Ransomware is a version of cyber-attack that involves hackers carrying a computer or other apparatus and insisting payment. The attackers use malicious software (Malware) by downloading it on a victim’s device and using it to encrypt their own information. Many ransomware attacks are targeted toward companies and large corporations, but it can also affect individuals.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from ransomware, and many attacks might have been prevented had the sufferer exercised caution in their everyday usage of their apparatus. Security specialists have introduced tips that will help users protect themselves from those cyber-attacks, especially after a rise in national and Worldwide cases:
1. Be wary of emails, pop-ups and anti virus apps
According to TrendMicro, Ransomware can be spread through emails containing suspicious links. Once clicked, the hackers can access the user’s computer and subsequently their documents, which they may block and freeze. This is where they threaten the victim with the loss of their documents, should they deny payment.
But, there are ways that you may spot a bogus email. Look carefully at the email address to see if it’s valid. Inside the body of the email itself, search for obvious mistakes and grammatical errors. What’s more, you may try hovering over links (without clicking them) to determine if they guide you to dubious web pages.
Remember that banks and credit card companies won’t ever ask for private information such as your password or credit card details.
‘Malvertising’ is a brand new method which includes the embedding of malware in ads on websites you are familiar with and trust. They are frequently pop-ups and occasionally promote software to remove malware. Never click on those adverts, but shut the windows instantly. To stop malvertising appearing in your trusted websites, you can use ad blockers, or rather, repair known browser security holes.
Last, never download an app that has not yet been certified by an official store, and always read testimonials before installing anything to avoid enabling attackers access to your personal computer or mobile device.
2. Back up all of your documents
If you make sure to back up all of your data daily, you will be immune to attacker’s threats if your servers or computers have been obstructed. But you need to make certain you use an external drive that is offline so that the ransomware cannot reach them. By backing all your information onto external drives that are not directly connected to a desktop system, however, would let you erase all information in the attacked device and restore it with the backup, should you fall prey.
3. Always install valid updates
Updates are often released to fix bugs that may make your device more vulnerable to ransomware and other attacks. Therefore, download the most recent version of your software whenever it becomes available.
4. Install an antivirus program
Antivirus software can detect malware and prevent it from penetrating your computer before it becomes visible or a threat to you. However, make certain to only download these software from reputable companies such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab, and Norton.
5. Never cover the ransom
Paying the ransom will unfortunately only encourage attackers farther, and there’s absolutely no guarantee your files will be retrieved. If you back up your information frequently, however, you can restore your documents from that.
If you’re part of a business ensure you disconnect from the corporate community and the internet to avoid malware spreading to other apparatus. Also disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as these can also be an entry for ransomware. Report the offense and seek help from an expert who majors in data retrieval, so you can talk about your options. In extreme situations, your only option is to pay the ransom, but DO NOT do this unless you have spoken to an expert first.
For businesses, Ransomware is an absolute nightmare and can run riot through a network. For that reason, we’d always suggest ensuring that you have adequate security patches installed as well as robust antivirus and firewall solutions in place.