What is Ransomware? How to prevent it?

Ransomware, one of the most common cyber threats, has a huge damage potential. Only in 2020, 68% of organizations admitted experiencing cyber threats. Ransomware locks your data or operating system after getting inside and then demands ransom for release. 

So you have to adopt proactive strategies. Using essential tools and paying enough attention can help. Use good anti-ransomware and avoid paying a heavy sum to regain control. Ransomware can target both organizations and individuals. Also, ransomware has got many ways to infect. It can reach you through malicious websites, spam mail, and software downloads.

This article would serve as your complete ransomware guide. We will discuss both symptoms of ransomware and its prevention strategies.

Are You About To Become The Victim?

Here is a list of things that increase the chances of ransomware.

  • Your device is not state-of-the-art. 
  • The device is using outdated software.  
  • There are no backup plans.
  • Admins have not paid enough attention to cybersecurity.
  • The operating system is not patched.
  • Browsers are not patched.

Even if one of these is true, you are at risk. You can become the victim of ransomware at any time. A vulnerability scan can help you identify all vulnerabilities. The software will scan and check your device for possible security vulnerabilities. It contains both operating systems and the programs installed on the computer. 

Seven Great Ways To Prevent An Infection

  • Do Not Click Unsafe Links

Never click on the links in spam messages, and do not visit unknown websites. If you click such a link, it may trigger an automatic download and install a new program on your computer. It can infect your computer.

  • Do Not Disclose Personal Information

Never reply if an unknown caller or message sender asks for your personal information. Cybercriminals planning ransomware attacks are always trying to get your personal information. If they get it, they can use such information to tailor phishing messages specifically to you. Instead, directly contact the sender if you doubt the sender's legitimacy.

  • Never Open Suspicious Email Attachments

Email attachments can also be the source of the email attachments. Do not open suspicious attachments. Instead, closely inspect the sender and check if the address is correct to verify that the email address is trustworthy.

If any attachment prompts you to run macros for viewing, never open them. It will run a malicious macro and give control of your computer to hackers.

  • Do Not Use Unknown USB Sticks

If you do not know the source of a USB stick and its content, do not open it. It is possible that hackers have infected the storage and deliberately placed it where someone can find and open it.    

  • Always Update Systems & Programs

Updating everything is crucial for security. Hackers are busy inventing new malware and ransomware every day. At the same time, information security experts are also developing solutions. 

But you cannot get those solutions if you do not update. So ensure that you have the latest security patch when updating. It will make the hackers' job tough and challenging. They will not be able to exploit vulnerabilities in your programs.

  • Use only known download sources

There always is a risk of downloading malware, and you have to minimize it. Do not download any files from unknown or malicious websites. 

Only go for verified and trustworthy sites for downloads. You can check if the website is trustworthy or not by checking trust seals. Look at the top left corner of the address bar of the browser. Does it say http or https? You can trust the website if it says https. In the opposite case, you cannot as the page is not secure. You will also have the shield or lock symbol at the end. That also is an indication that everything is safe. Adopt the same practices when using your mobile. Do not trust someone other than Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

  • Use VPN services when on wifi networks

Wise use of public wifi networks is a sensible network measure against ransomware. Your computer is vulnerable to attacks while using a public wifi network. And when you have to make sensitive transactions, try not using public wifi. If it is necessary, use VPN.

Benefits of Anti Ransomware 

Other than these prevention measures, you can also use dedicated tools to protect the software. One smart way to avoid ransomware, for example, is using virus scanners and content filters on your mail servers. They reduce the risk of spam and malicious attachments. Infected links will also be unable to make their way to your inbox. Also, you should have good internet security solutions. 

These tools can help you block infected files when you download or stream something. Hence ransomware cannot reach your computer.  

How To Minimize The Loss In Worst Case Scenario

The answer is a short word, backup. Make sure that everything is always backed up. It is the most simple and easy way to avoid everything. Keep backups in separate hard drives that are outside your network. 

If the hardware is connected to your network during the attack, it will also spread to that backup. Also, keep taking backups after regular intervals. 

If you do not protect data manually, you can use any backup software. But be careful in selecting the tool since some can also be malicious. In addition, it can be hazardous since the backup software can access every file. 

These numerous privileges can turn out to be very dangerous. Moreover, tools are always connected to the provider. So, cybercriminals can get all the information through their tools. So be extra careful when selecting the backup tool.

Colocation FAQs

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