How to Prevent Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software used by cyberthieves to encrypt important data from your computer and extort money from you in exchange to regain access to your data. Ransomware is a notorious malware that not just attacks home computers but even systems of high profile enterprises including those from the education, IT, healthcare and financial service industries.
Over the last few years, ransomware has become a lucrative scheme for cyber criminals and continues to intensify as a chronic problem for individuals and businesses alike. With cyber criminals abandoning their old schemes in favor of of this malicious software, learning how to prevent ransomware attacks from occurring should be in preeminence
No one is safe from ransomware. No matter who or where you are and regardless of what industry your company belongs to, as long as you have data saved in your system that you can't afford to lose, you are not safe from the atrocious skills and minds of these cybercriminals.
In fact, in 2017, ransomware attacks reached its peak with reports that 7 out of 10 malware payloads were variants of ransomware. In the 12th of May of that year alone, over 200,000 machines were infected by the malware over a course of just few hours. This ransomware attack had infected even huge European organizations.
There are two types of ransomware currently in circulation. The first one is called the encrypting ransomware which is the more common. Encrypting ransomware is designed to block system files and ask the victim for payment in exchange of the passkey needed to unlock the encrypted data. The second one is known as the locker ransomware. Though cyberthieves will ask money from you as well, locker ransomware does not encrypt any data at all but does locks your operating system and prohibits you from accessing your desktop or any file.
Household users are a major target of ransomware creators due to their lack of education about cyber security awareness. This makes them easier to manipulate into clicking any malicious link that can infect their computers. On the other hand, businesses also is not off the hook from ransomware attacks. They are far more profitable than household users and thus, become a more ideal victim in the eyes of the ransomware creators. Indeed, everyone must be aware on how to prevent ransomware attacks effectively.
Just like other malicious software though, ransomware finds a way to a victim's system by exploiting a vulnerable software's security hole or by tricking a potential victim into downloading or installing it. I bet even at this very moment, someone is clicking a malicious link that after a few moments will download the ransomware into that user’s computer and encrypt all his data.
With these alarming facts about how dangerous ransomware attacks can be, you must equip yourself with adept understanding on how to prevent ransomware attacks. Don't wait until a threat strikes and make you the next ransomware victim. Make yourself knowledgeable about this malware and learn the methods to take on how to prevent ransomware.
Patch and update your software
To prevent ransomware attacks, make sure that all systems and software are updated. Computers running with an outdated software are more prone to an attack. An updated software can significantly lessen the possibility of ransomware causing any damage to your data. Most vendors regularly release security updates and patches. It would be best if you can enable automatic updates for your software to further ensure that that your software will always be up-to-date.
Don't click unfamiliar links and emails.
Another way on how to prevent Ransomware attacks is to be vigilant about clicking unfamiliar links and emails. Spam email campaigns are one of the most common infection methods attackers use. These emails contain malicious links or attachments that can download the ransomware to your computer. Take note to always think twice before clicking so you can keep infected links and other malicious sources away from your computer and important data.
Backup your files
Last but definitely not the least, make sure that you regularly backup your files (especially the most important ones). Regularly backing up your files is your best remedy when ransomware has infected your computer. Store a copy of your data in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox) or in a portable HDD. This method might not keep ransomware attacks away from your computer but it will definitely make the damage significantly less as you don't need to deal with the attacker anymore to regain access of your encrypted content.
Being one of the most dangerous and widely spread malware in the planet, ransomware undeniably brought extortion into a global scale. With this malware threat, you must exert extensive precautions on how to prevent ransomware attacks to avoid data loss and any malware-related infection. You can even try searching for a reputable scanning software which can identify unknown and malicious files on your network that can keep you one step ahead in preventing ransomware attacks. Never let any malicious file continue to reside in your computer to prevent ransomware attacks from hitting you and obstruct dealing with cyberthieves that can potentially cause you to lose a lot of money.