Ransomware is a variant of cyber-attack that entails hackers taking over a computer or other device and insisting payment. The attackers use malicious software (Malware) by downloading it on a victim’s device and using it to encrypt their data. Most ransomware attacks are targeted toward businesses and large businesses, but it can also affect individuals.
There are many ways to safeguard yourself from ransomware, and many attacks could have been prevented had the sufferer exercised care in their regular usage of their devices. Security experts have introduced tips that will help users protect themselves from these cyber-attacks, especially after a rise in national and Worldwide cases:
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 then their documents, which they can block and freeze. That is where they threaten the victim with the reduction of their documents, should they refuse payment.
However, there are ways that you may spot a bogus email. Look carefully at the email address to find out if it is valid. Inside the body of the email itself, search for obvious errors and grammatical mistakes. Furthermore, you may try hovering over hyperlinks (without clicking them) to see if they guide you to suspicious web pages.
Remember 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 are familiar with and trust. They are often pop-ups and sometimes promote applications to eliminate malware. Never click on these adverts, but close the windows instantly. To prevent malvertising appearing in your trusted sites, you can use ad blockers, or alternatively, repair known browser security holes.
Lastly, not download an app that hasn’t been certified by an official shop, and always read reviews before installing anything to avoid allowing 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 resistant to attacker’s threats if your computers or servers have been obstructed. However, you have to make certain you utilize an external drive that is offline so that the ransomware cannot reach them. By backing all your information onto external drives which aren’t directly linked to your desktop system, however, would let you erase all information in the attacked machine and restore it using the backup, should you fall victim.
3. Always install valid updates
Updates are often released to repair bugs that may make your device more vulnerable to ransomware along with other strikes. Therefore, download the newest version of your applications whenever it becomes available. To ensure 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 block it from infecting your computer before it will become visible or a threat to you. However, make sure that you only download such software from respectable companies such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab, and Norton.
5. Never pay the ransom
Paying the ransom will sadly only encourage attackers further, and there’s absolutely not any guarantee your files will be recovered. Should you back up your data regularly, however, you are able to restore your documents from that.
If you are a part of a business make sure that you disconnect from the corporate community and the internet to steer clear of malware spreading to other apparatus. Also disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as these may also be an entry for ransomware. Report the offense and seek help from an expert who majors in data recovery, which means you can discuss your alternatives. In extreme cases, your only option is to pay the ransom, however DO NOT do so unless you’ve 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.