You’ve surely encountered ransomware at least once in your life: perhaps your friend got it on their computer, or you’ve heard about it in the news, or someone talked about it in the office. Or maybe you’ve experienced it yourself: a scary moment when a message appears on your screen, blocking all the access to personal files and demanding ransom.
Dealing with ransomware can make you frustrated – not only do you lose your time, but very often, you have to restore the system entirely. However, it’s easier to protect your computer from ransomware than to get rid of it. Find the best ways to do it in the article below, and feel safe and sound on the internet from this day forward.
And, if the data on your computer is very important and you’re still worried about it – go to the web penetration professionals, like Bulletproof. They will help you find the vulnerabilities in your computer security systems and give useful advice. However, above all, please remember these five easy and effective tips that will help you feel safer right now.
One of the most common ways to get ransomware is by clicking links in spam emails or compromised websites. Once clicked, these links will inject the ransomware virus into your computer, and there will be nothing else to do other than going to your IT specialist or computer service. Be cautious! Check the email or website before clicking on any suspicious links.
This applies to opening unverified email attachments as well. Always look at who sent the email and if the sender’s address is correct. Cybercriminals don’t want to be detected, so the malicious email address can easily differ from the original one by only one letter or symbol. Check everything, and if not sure, contact the sender and double-check it.
Also, don’t download anything from unknown websites. Ensure that the website uses HTTPS and not HTTP connection (a shield or lock symbol in the search bar next to the website address will show it). And when downloading anything to your phone, use reputable sources like Google Play or App Store.
Cybercriminals often call, text, or email people, introducing themselves as someone else and asking for personal information. This way, they can use it in fishing emails to target you specifically. They will use the data to make their trap more convincing, luring you into opening infected attachments or links.
If you want to be safe when contacted by a person or company asking for your information, take caution. Ignore the request and contact the company directly to verify if the call was genuine.
If you have a company, make sure to educate your employees on malspam and scam callers. By learning how to spot it, the users will stay one step ahead of malware creators. And you won’t have to lose time retrieving data and improving your web security system.
Your computer is more vulnerable to attack when you use public Wi-Fi, as it is an unprotected connection. Use a trustworthy VPN software to protect you, or avoid using public Wi-Fi if possible. When traveling, notify your IT department beforehand, so they will give you advice and help secure your internet connection.
Cybercriminals also often infect USBs and other storage removal devices, so never insert them into your computer if you don’t know where they came from. And never allow strangers to use your devices or connect with your phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Security software is crucial if you want to protect your computer from ransomware. It will block the infected files if you download or stream them, preventing the virus from penetrating your system and accessing your data. However, make sure to use the reputable software you trust – there are many fake security programs out there.
Keeping your system and software up-to-date is important as well – this way, it’ll have all the latest security patches, and your computer will be efficiently protected.
There’s always a possibility of getting ransomware – after all, you cannot get rid of the human factor. To make sure your data is 100% safe, make backups regularly. Keep copies of everything stored on an external hard drive, and don’t leave it plugged in when you use the computer. Cloud storage is also a great solution, as data is not saved on your physical medium but a server in a trustworthy hosting company.
Ransomware is a very common type of internet threat. While every company and every person can fall victim to it, there’s nothing to be afraid of, as every ransomware attack can be prevented.
By doing something as simple as investing in good cybersecurity technology, behaving properly online, and educating your employees (or family), you can save yourself time and money that you would have to spend to retrieve the data lost in the attack. Remember to use common sense – if something seems strange to you, be careful.