Ransomware is a variant of cyber-attack that involves hackers carrying a computer or other device and insisting payment. They then threaten to destroy the victims’ files unless the ransom is paid. Most ransomware strikes are targeted toward businesses and large businesses, but it can also affect people.
How do I protect myself from ransomware?
There are many ways to protect yourself from ransomware, and most attacks could have been averted had the sufferer exercised care in their regular use of their apparatus. Security experts have released tips that will help users protect themselves from these cyber-attacks, especially after a rise in domestic and Worldwide instances:
1. Be wary of emails, pop-ups and dodgy apps
According to TrendMicro, Ransomware can be spread through emails containing suspicious links. Once clicked, the hackers can get the user’s pc and subsequently their files, which they may block and freeze. That is where they endanger the victim with the loss of their files, should they refuse payment.
However, there are ways you can spot a bogus email. Look closely at the email address to see whether it is valid. Within the body of the email itself, search for obvious mistakes and grammatical errors. What’s more, you could try hovering over hyperlinks (without clicking them) to see if they direct you to dubious web pages.
‘Malvertising’ is a brand new method that involves the embedding of malware in ads on sites you are familiar with and trust. They are often pop-ups and sometimes promote software to remove malware. Never click on those adverts, but shut the windows immediately. To stop malvertising appearing on your trusted sites, you can use ad blockers, or alternatively, repair known browser security holes.
Last, not download an app which has not yet been certified by an official shop, and always read testimonials before installing anything to prevent enabling attackers access to your computer or mobile device.
2. Back up all your files
If you make certain to back up all of your information every day, you will be resistant to attacker’s threats if your servers or computers have been blocked. But you need to ensure you utilize an external drive that is offline so that the ransomware can’t reach them. By backing all of your data onto external drives which aren’t directly linked to a desktop system, however, would let you erase all information in the attacked machine and restore it with the backup, should you fall prey.
3. Always install legitimate updates
Updates are often released to repair bugs which may cause your device more vulnerable to ransomware along with other strikes. Thus, download the newest version of your software whenever it becomes available.
4. Install an antivirus program
Antivirus software can detect malware and block it from infecting your computer before it becomes visible or a threat for you. However, make certain to only download such software from respectable companies like 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 that your files will be recovered. If you back up your data regularly, however, you can restore your documents from that.
If you’re a part of a company ensure you disconnect from the corporate community and the internet to avoid malware spreading to other apparatus. Also disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as these may also be an entrance for ransomware. Report the crime and seek support from an expert who participates in data recovery, so you can discuss your alternatives. In extreme situations, your only option is to pay the ransom, however 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.