If you’ve ever had to format your computer without a back-up, you know how terrifying a thought it is to lose every single file on your computer. Ransomware attacks play on this fear and make use of encryption software to hold personal data for ransom and extort their victims for financial gain with the promise of restoring the encrypted data. Here’s how to protect against ransomware attacks.
Don’t Pay the Attackers
While it may seem like the only solution, we implore you to never pay the ransom. Despite their promises, paying the funds over to the attackers does not actually guarantee the restoration of your data and only funds the attackers to continue in the same way.
Ransomware attackers are only able to continue the onslaught as people have paid the ransom in the past and the efforts of these attackers has proved gainful.
Protect Your Personal Information
You’ve no doubt heard of phishing emails, but it’s important that you pay close attention to every single email you receive.
Phishing emails can be used to trick you into installing malware on your computer which is like opening the front door and inviting the attacker in. The goal must be to protect your personal information at all costs.
Keep a Reliable Back Up
It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t have a reliable back up of all the data on their computer – even of all your gambling online activity.
Think about it in this way, if you are hit with a ransomware attack and do have a full back up of all your data, you will not be threatened in any way. It won’t matter if your data is never restored as you’ll have a copy of it safe and sound.
Make Use of Solid Anti-Virus Software
There’s a reason why anti-virus technology is a billion dollar industry – it really works.
While the smartest of hackers may still be able to crack the anti-virus software, you’ve made it much harder for them and if you make use of reliable software you’ll likely receive advanced warning of any potential threats.
Scan Your Emails
While you should tread carefully around emails from unknown and known sources, it’s also a good idea to make use of scanning software which checks every email for potential threats and attacks.
Every inbound email should be scanned and should block any attachment types that could pose a threat to the safety of your personal data. If your email provider doesn’t offer this service, make use of a 3rd party scanning service to do the job.
Keep Software Up-to-Date
Just as hackers keep getting smarter, so do software companies. Every time a new threat is identified, software companies learn from these attacks and release patches to improve the strength of their programs. For this reason it’s very important that you keep all programs and systems up-to-date as this will help to prevent an infection.
Make use of these tips and tricks to protect yourself from any potential threats, including ransomware.