Best Practices for Protecting Yourself from Ransomware

Both organizations and individuals are becoming increasingly concerned about ransomware. When news spread that hackers were seeking $300 in Bitcoin to get their information back, the most recent ransomware made headlines. There have been multiple stories of businesses paying the ransom as well as of businesses losing their data despite their inability to pay. The good news is that you may take precautions to reduce your vulnerability to this extremely dangerous type of cybercrime. Here, we’ll go over five best practices:

Make Sure That You Have a Way to Recover Your Data

It’s likely possible you aren’t required to pay the hush money if you know how to restore your data. If you lack such a method, there are still certain steps you can do to safeguard yourself from ransomware.

Make sure you have one backup to all of your data first and foremost in case your phone or computer becomes infected with malware. Regularly back up any significant files or images to a different storage location (such as an external hard drive) for safety. Finally, if possible, use two-factor authentication to ensure that nobody else can access your account unless they have both of your passwords!

Don’t Pay the Ransom

If you’re hit by ransomware, don’t pay the ransom. Don’t open any links in emails or pop-up messages that claim your system is infected with viruses and demand payment in Bitcoin, a virtual currency popular among fraudsters. Instead, get in touch with police enforcement right once so they can look into the occurrence and, if necessary, take the culprits to court.

Never believe emails from individuals posing as representatives of Microsoft or other tech firms, as these con artists will attempt to deceive you into installing harmful software on your computer by sending you email attachments or even real-looking but fraudulent websites (one example being phishing). Not opening any documents at all is preferable to avoid malware.

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Keeping your software up to date is one of the best methods to defend yourself from ransomware. Even if you believe that you have already acquired it, there may be additional security enhancements that didn’t come with the initial release, therefore it’s critical to maintain your operational system and software as soon as a fresh version is published.

If you enable your computer on automatic updates, then you will get all notifications when new versions of programmes are downloaded or updated automatically. Consider utilising third-party antivirus software that offers this capability if you don’t have security updates setup on your computer and don’t receive any warnings about new versions of applications being installed or automatically added (such as Windows Update).

Instead of manually checking for security patches every day, try using automatic updates whenever possible. This way, if something unexpected occurs hours or days after placing an update (like losing access because of a problem with Windows Defender), there is at least a chance that something will still function adequately until a different solution can be found.

Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

Use lengthy passwords: It’s recommended to use passwords that are at least 12 characters long, contain both upper- and lowercase characters, as well as pro protagonists (special characters like! or @). You may avoid popular attack methods like phishing emails, which can be used to determine your password, by doing this.

Create unique accounts on every website you visit: Because they are all independent, if ransomware infects one account, it won’t affect any other websites. Additionally, you can use a password manager like LastPass or Techniques to organise all of your logins safely so that if one is compromised for any reason (for example, if the service provider is compromised), it won’t affect the others because they are kept apart from one another in different places on various devices (e.g., desktop vs laptop).

Back up Your Data Frequently

  • Storing your backup files on an external hard drive is a good idea. A CD/DVD or USB flash device are both acceptable. Use a cloud storage service, like either Dropbox or Google Drive to back your data so that they are always backed up in case your computer is attacked by a virus. Ensure that your digital data copies are safeguarded to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Use security software to guard against viruses and malware. Make use of a firewall, and frequently update your password. Firewalls obstruct traffic coming from the Internet to stop unauthorised users from accessing your computer. A free software tool like ZoneAlarm or Barracuda Firewall can also be used to safeguard your computer against hackers, malware, and dangerous websites.
  • Don’t open any links in emails or pop-up messages that claim your site was hacked with ransonecessa├╗rymware and demand payment in Bitcoin, a virtual currency popular among fraudsters. Instead, get in touch with police enforcement right away so they can look into the occurrence and, if necessary , take the culprits to court.
  • Install and keep your antivirus software up to date. In order to stop malware from infecting your computer, you must use an antivirus programme.
  • Further, try to use VPN to secure. Because use of VPN protects your privacy and keeps your online data secure from malware and ransomwares. So, being a PC user you should use VPN extension for browser and get a safe and secure browsing experience.
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening suspicious email attachments in email that you don’t recognize. Hackers frequently send phishing emails with virus-downloading files or links to harmful websites on your personal computer.

Conclusion

A new class of cybercriminal has emerged as a result of the emergence of ransomware. There are actions you may do if you’ve been the victim of ransomware to regain access to your files and stop future damage. We have discussed ransomware defence strategies in this article to ensure you never become a new victim!

Best Practices for Protecting Yourself from Ransomware was last updated February 22nd, 2023 by Aleksandra Cieplowska