Cyber Security: Ransomware

How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. It’s happening all the time. So how do we avoid this online crime?

Backup your data

Backup your data to an offline hard drive. Backing up your data to a cloud backup such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or IDrive is also recommended. Make sure you don’t save your data in a shared folder. Some ransomware programs specifically scan for shared folders.

Regularly update your software

This goes for your phone and your computer. From time to time, check to make sure you have the newest security updates. A system functioning on outdated software is a breachable system.

Avoid being “phished”

“Phishing” is when a hacker poses as a trusted entity in order to obtain usernames, passwords, and credit card information for malicious purposes. The 2013 Microsoft Computing Safety Index found that the annual worldwide impact of phishing could be as high as 5 billion American dollars. The best defense for this is human judgement. Always check the email address and URL before giving away any information.

Don’t pay up

If you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t pay up. If you give them what they want, there’s no stopping your attackers from demanding more money or not following through with providing access to your data. Providing the ransom is enabling the crime and will only add to the popularity of ransomware attacks.

Try not to be too paranoid

It happens to a relatively small number of people. It’s a serious crime but no reason to have an anxiety attack.   Be alert, be smart, be diligent, and always backup your data.

Remember…  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

― Benjamin Franklin


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