Ransomware is a version of cyber-attack that involves hackers carrying a computer or other apparatus and insisting payment. They then threaten to destroy the victims’ files unless the ransom is paid. Many ransomware attacks are targeted toward businesses and big corporations, but it can also affect people.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from ransomware, and many attacks could have been prevented had the sufferer exercised caution in their regular use of their apparatus. Security specialists have introduced tips to help users protect themselves from these cyber-attacks, especially following a rise in national and international cases:
According to TrendMicro, Ransomware is often spread through emails containing suspicious links. Once clicked, the hackers can get the user’s computer and then their files, which they may block and freeze. That is where they threaten the victim with the reduction of their documents, should they refuse payment.
But, there are ways you can spot a dodgy email. Look closely at the email address to find out if it is valid. Inside the body of the email itself, search for obvious mistakes and grammatical mistakes. What’s more, you could try hovering over hyperlinks (without clicking them) to determine if they guide you to dubious web pages.
Do not forget that banks and credit card companies won’t ever ask for private information including your password or credit card details.
‘Malvertising’ is a new method that involves the embedding of malware in ads on websites you’re familiar with and trust. They are often pop-ups and sometimes promote software to eliminate malware. Never click on those adverts, but shut the windows instantly. To prevent malvertising appearing on your trusted websites, you could use ad blockers, or alternatively, fix known browser security holes.
Lastly, not download an app which has not yet been certified by an official store, and always read testimonials before installing anything to prevent enabling attackers access to your computer or mobile device.
2. Back up all of your documents
If you make sure to back up all of your information daily, you’ll be resistant to attacker’s threats if your servers or computers have been blocked. But you have to ensure you utilize an external drive that’s offline so that the ransomware can’t reach them. By backing all your data onto external drives that are not directly linked to your desktop system, however, would allow you to erase all information from the attacked machine and restore it with the backup, should you fall victim.
3. Always install valid updates
Updates are usually released to repair bugs that may make your device more vulnerable to ransomware and other strikes. Thus, download the newest version of your applications whenever it becomes available. To make certain you know when updates are available, turn on alarms or configure your own devices to automatically set up the latest updates.
4. Install an antivirus app
Antivirus software can detect malware and prevent it from infecting your computer before it will become visible or a threat to you. Nonetheless, be sure to only download such software from respectable companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab, and Norton.
5. Never pay the ransom
Paying the ransom will unfortunately only encourage attackers further, and there is not any guarantee your files will be retrieved. Should you back up your information regularly, however, you are able to restore your files from that.
What do I do if I’m already infected?
If you’re part of a business make sure you disconnect from the corporate community and the world wide web to steer clear of malware spreading to other apparatus. Also disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as these can also be an entry for ransomware. Report the offense and seek help from a specialist who participates in data retrieval, which means it’s possible to discuss your alternatives. In extreme situations, your only option is to pay the ransom, but DO NOT do so unless you’ve spoken to a professional 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.