What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a variant of cyber-attack that involves hackers taking over a computer or other apparatus and insisting payment. The attackers use malicious software (Malware) by downloading it onto a victim’s device and using it to encrypt their own data. Many ransomware strikes are targeted toward companies and big businesses, but it could also affect individuals.
How can I protect myself from ransomware?
There are a number of ways to safeguard yourself from ransomware, and many attacks could have been averted had the sufferer exercised care in their regular use of their devices. Security specialists have introduced tips that will help users protect themselves from those cyber-attacks, especially after a rise in domestic and international instances:
According to TrendMicro, Ransomware is often 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 endanger the victim with the reduction of the files, should they refuse payment.
However, there are ways that you may spot a bogus email. Look carefully at the email address to see if it is valid. Furthermore, you could try hovering over links (without clicking them) to determine if they direct you to suspicious web pages.
Do not forget that banks and credit card companies won’t ever request private information such as your password or credit card details.
‘Malvertising’ is a new method which includes the embedding of malware in ads on sites you’re familiar with and trust. They are often pop-ups and sometimes promote applications to remove malware. Never click on those adverts, but shut the windows immediately. To stop malvertising appearing on your trusted websites, you could use ad blockers, or rather, repair known browser security holes.
Lastly, never download an app that hasn’t yet been certified by an official shop, 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 files
If you make certain that you back up all of your data daily, you will be immune to attacker’s risks if your servers or computers have been blocked. But you need to make certain you utilize an external drive that’s offline so that the ransomware can’t reach them. By backing all your information onto external drives which are not directly connected to a desktop system, however, would let you erase all information in the attacked device and restore it using the backup, in the event you fall victim.
3. Always install legitimate updates
Upgrades are usually released to fix bugs that may make your device more vulnerable to ransomware along with other attacks. Therefore, download the most recent version of your software whenever it becomes available.
4. Install an antivirus app
Antivirus software can detect malware and block it from penetrating your computer before it will become visible or a threat to you.
5. Never cover the ransom
Paying the ransom will sadly only encourage attackers farther, and there is not any guarantee that your files will be retrieved. Should you back up your information regularly, however, you are able to restore your documents from that.
What do I do if I am already infected?
If you’re part of a business ensure that you disconnect from the corporate network and the world wide web to steer clear of malware spreading to other apparatus. Also disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi since these may also be an entrance for ransomware. Report the crime and seek support from a specialist who participates in data retrieval, so you can talk about your alternatives. In extreme cases, your only option may be to pay the ransom, but DO NOT do so 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.