Numerous computers worldwide have been hacked by cyber criminals which has made ransomware a headline! To quote New York Times:
“In a recent ransomware attack, cyber criminals hijacked hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, locking up data and threatening to destroy it if a ransom was not paid.”
What is this ransomware and how will you protect yourself from it? It is a decade old form of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. We @uCertify want to share some measures to keep yourself protected from these attacks:
- Keep an eye on suspicious emails and pop-ups: Whenever you receive any email, just make sure if it is coming from a valid address. Hover over (and never click) hyperlinks in the emails to see if they are directing you to dubious webpages.You will also be surprised to know that ransomware developers use emails and pop-up windows that proclaim software products to remove malware. Never click on anything through such pop-ups, rather just safely close the windows if you start getting them.
- Use anti-ransomware security tools: Always keep a reliable, paid antivirus product in your system that includes an automatic update module and a real-time scanner. Make sure to keep these antivirus up-to-date, so it blocks the latest emerging malware. Also, download antivirus apps only from reputable vendors.
- Keep your software updated: If you simply stay on top of security updates, your machines would not have been infected. Configure your Windows machines to automatically install the latest software updates. Now, if ransomware attacks specifically target Windows machines, it does not mean Mac or Linux users are out of trouble for future. Other kind of malwares may infect various operating systems, so it does not matter which device you are using. You update your software regularly and install the latest security updates.
- Keep backups of your data as well as security plans for your business: Even after keeping all the precautions, if a hacker hacks your computer, you can protect yourself by keeping all your data stored somewhere else, for an example: a physical hard drive.Then, even if a hacker locks down your computer, you can erase all the data from the machine and restore it from your backup.
In case of any organization or business, all employees must be educated about such hacking attacks and informed of the resources they can use to protect themselves.
Thus, by keeping yourself updated and taking all the precautions, you can minimize the impact of such attacks. Be safe and remember that prevention is the best protection!