Ransomware damage across the globe is predicted to exceed 20 billion US dollars this year. This is because of the newer trend of people investing in numerous internet based business and crypto currency. It is also expected that the figure will further increase in the coming days because more people want to make money online. Before getting into the topic of how to protect ourselves from ransomware, it is important to know that what exactly Ransomware is.
The true definition of Ransomware can be found in its name. It is basically a malware (a computer virus) that holds onto a person’s private data or a company’s business data hostage until a ransom is paid to get its access back.
If you are a regular internet user or you are interested in trading cryptocurrency then you can easily get infected to it through:
- Unknown malicious links
- Malicious Pop-up Ads
- Emails/ Messages
- Malicious Mobile Apps
When your computer is infected with Ransomware, it can encrypt all of your data including documents, pictures, videos and emails. Then it will lock your operating system to hold you from logging onto it again. Moreover it will spread to other machines on the same network. The passwords and codes to access information and data on your machine will not prevent you against it.
When your machine is in the hacker’s control, the hacker will ask you to make a payment in the form of bitcoin mostly because it is a type of money that cannot be traced. In order to pay the ransom you will have to follow a strict deadline to avoid risking your important data forever.
This Malware is so dangerous that even FBI suggest that you pay the ransom because they cannot help you once your machine is infected with it.
Easy ways to Protect against Ransomware
Here are some easy ways to keep your personal and business data safe:
Make a backup of your Data on Daily basis
Make sure you have a backup of your data. So if your machine is infected by Ransomware and when you are asked for a ransom, you have a backup of your data on a safe server that the hacker cannot touch. However it is also important to know how to make a backup of your data correctly.
Check Your Emails and Do not Click on Suspicious Links
The Ransomware is mostly spread through emails. It is important to know that you refrain yourself from clicking on unknown ads or links coming to you through emails.
Install and Anti-Virus
There are numerous Anti-virus software/ firewalls available but most of them do not guarantee 100% protection against Ransonware. This is why it is important to choose a good Anti-Virus Firewall. Always go for a Firewall that can match your requirements, such as your budget and network. Always make sure to train your employees about the importance and usage of anti-virus firewall.
Hackers mostly trick humans than the computers. Your employees must know that they can play a vital role in safeguarding your business information and data. They must take the cyber security matters seriously. By investing in cyber security awareness programs, you will have a team of well aware employees who will not fall for malicious links, ads or emails.
Keep all your Applications Updated
All malware attacks are designed to penetrate through the software and applications installed in your machine. Apply security patches to your applications and update software such as Java, Flash or Adobe to make your machine impenetrable.
Important Steps to Take In case of Ransomware Attack
- Shut down your network immediately to protect it
- Call the local police station or FBI or the authority dealing with cyber crime
- Shutdown the Internet, Wifi or Bluetooth
- If you have a good backup of your data then do not pay the ransom. Delete all the infected files and restore the new files through the backup.
- If you do not have a good backup then pay the ransom if it is very important or do not pay and delete all infected files.
Good antivirus and security software are a good way to protect a machine or a network against ransomware. A backup of all the data is as important as installing a cyber security software. Try to follow all the steps required to safeguard a network from the attack of ransomware because without these necessary precautions are important your data is prone to a cyber attack.