‘Ransomware’ is a malware that can lock all the data/ files in your computer. Once the malware is activated, it blocks the entire operating system and launches an alert with the ransom to be paid to restore all information. The demand is usually made in virtual currency – Bitcoins.
Ransomware is generally camouflaged in another file or program like email attachments or videos/ pages from unsafe sites.
7 tips to stay safe from malicious attacks
1. Install Antivirus Software
Install best-of-breed, reliable Antivirus software and a Firewall to secure your network, emails, website and client facing applications. Always keep your security software up to date to protect your system from malicious attacks.
2. Update your Operating System
Make sure that your OS and other software are up-to-date with relevant patches. Updating them regularly can help detect and prevent infection.
3. Backup regularly
It is a good practice to backups your data on a regular basis. Should there be a ransomware attack, a data backup will always come in handy. Restoration of your files from a backup is the safest and quickest way to regain access to your data with least downtime.
4. In case of an attack, never pay the ransom
Paying a ransom encourages and funds hackers and phishers. It does not guarantee access to your files. Therefore, it is advisable to take a backup of your data/ files regularly. This way you can restore your data without paying a huge ransom.
5. Stay alert
Do not click on links or visit sites that you do not recognize or are unsure of the credibility. Never open email attachments from unknown sources.
6. Do not disclose personal/ confidential information
Never provide personal information over emails, unsolicited phone calls or messages. In case you receive suspicious calls at work, be sure to contact your IT department.
7. Use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network
Alert your IT department beforehand, if you’re going to be using the public wireless Internet. Be sure to use a credible Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi.
It is an ongoing effort to keep cybercriminals outside. Even the best of strategies and defenses may be breached. Even in case ransomware creeps in, being vigilant and having a sound backup plan to get back on track reduces the damage.