A ransomware attack is where a hacker compromises your computer and locks you out of it. They then put a message on the screen saying that they will give you a key to unlock it but it usually comes at a monetary cost. This can be a scary situation and something that we should all want to avoid. Here are four tips for preventing an attack from becoming a reality for you.
1. Don’t Pay
While this might seem easier said than done, paying for a ransomware attack only encourages these attackers from doing so again. Not only that, but these paid ransoms fund them in future attacks on either you or others.
The thing to remember is that these are devious individuals. There is no guarantee that even if you pay the ransom, they will unlock your files and allow you to access them. By putting your foot down and preventing payment from happening, it will discourage the attacker. You should always consult with an expert like Cytelligence instead of trying to handle it yourself.
It might take extra funding to find someone to unlock your files (if you can’t get by without them) but it will be cheaper than paying that ransom in any event.
2. Be Careful When Sharing Personal Information
This should be a must-use practice for anyone online but this is especially the case these days. Attackers use email, text messaging, instant messaging, or unsolicited phone calls as a way to extract personal information from their victims.
If you are not certain about who you are talking to, never ever share your personal information. Phishers will try any trick they can to get people to install malware or to gain intelligence for future attacks. If there are any suspicious features to a call or email, do not open them or any attachments to those messages.
3. Update Virus Software
While there are still sophisticated enough attacks out there to get through some virus software, it is a generally good practice to have it. This at least makes it that much more difficult for attackers to gain access to your system.
Make certain that whatever virus software you are running is completely up to date. These programs will have built-in features that are meant to combat malware and ransomware, keeping you protected and able to thwart any possible attackers. When combined with general safety practices, you should be safe from those attacks.
4. Enable Content Scanning and Filtering in Emails
Opening emails is one of the most common ways that people find themselves at the mercy of ransomware. Hackers are becoming so sophisticated at their tactics that these spoof emails are beginning to look more realistic than ever.
With content scanning built into your email servers, there is an extra level of protection between you and the attackers that are trying to get to you. When it comes to online security, every level of security between you and the bad guys is a worthwhile layer.
These are just a few things that can keep you safe against those phishing attacks that fool so many.