Malicious and damaging computer software is commonplace on the internet nowadays. But not many are as devastating as Ransomware. As the name suggests, it is malware that locks up a person’s or company’s data hostage until a ransom is paid to gain access to it again.
Ransomware has raked in billions of dollars in just the past five years. If you don’t learn how to defend against ransomware attacks, you risk losing millions. It is a terrifying prospect to have your files and data be held hostage and not be able to access them until you complete the payment. Here’s how you can possibly prevent a ransomware attack or protect yourself during one.
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Understand How You Could Get Infected
The first obvious step in protecting yourself from such malware is knowing what ways they can access your systems. You can be infected in all the usual ways, from links in email messages, fake apps, malicious advertisements, and even infected websites.
Once your device is infected, the ransomware encrypts all of your files from it, including documents, pictures, videos, and such.
Backup Your Files Daily
Saving your data, every day, can significantly decrease the damage from a ransomware attack. You can rest a bit easier knowing that you have access to your data on a different server where the attackers cannot reach.
But even then, problems can arise. You need to be careful where you choose to save all of your files. If your backup system is in some way connected to your network, the attackers can most likely infiltrate it. Which means you would have to back up your data into an offline storage device or on the cloud to keep it away from any unwanted guests.
Use Anti-Malware Software or Services
Installing antivirus or anti-malware software that can detect a ransomware attack or any malware attack as it arrives. This could completely prevent an attack or at least give you some time to prepare for it. There are a great number of good and reliable services which can deal with ransomware attacks. They can help with ransomware removal or try to lower a huge blow to your bank account.
Practice Cyber Safety And Keep Everything Updated
Having sensitive information on the web can be a huge risk if you aren’t careful. Simple tasks like updating your operating system and using the newest versions of all of your important applications have proven to be a huge help against most types of malware.
Changing your passwords regularly and having different, complex passwords for all your accounts can make a big difference. Small stuff like hovering over any suspicious links to check where they can lead you and making sure those links are safe to browse can prevent ransomware most of the time.
Using System Restore
System restore is a feature on Windows that allows you to restore your computer back to its clean original state. To utilize it, you need to first enable it in your device’s settings.
In the case of a ransomware attack, you have to be quick in order to use the system restore function. Because there are a few types of ransomware that are able to delete the file that Windows uses to do a complete system restore.
Know The Risk of Paying
You should almost never pay the ransom in the case of an attack. Ransomware is extremely tricky; you have no guarantee that you will be able to access your files again if you pay the ransom.
It is best to not pay and to rely on your backups to restore your data.