How To Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Did you know every thirty-nine seconds around the world there is a hacker attacking someone’s computer? Stated by Hosting Tribunal. If that statistic doesn’t make you want to get a prevention method in action, I don’t know what will.
So how can you prevent a ransomware attack? There are a couple of simple steps you can take to decrease your risks. You’re about to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Let’s get started.
What is Ransomware?
The first-ever reported ransomware attack was in 1989. Over the years, as technology has dramatically become more innovative, so have hackers. Here’s usually how their plan of action works: penetrate the victim’s device, encipher their information, and demand a ransom.
Just as viruses attack weak immune systems, so do hackers. If you do not take the proper precautions, you could be at risk.
However, it’s important to note that most hackers attempt to gain access to more lucrative establishments such as hospitals and government buildings. They do this to obtain money. Yet, average joes have also reported malware attacks, so you’ll want to be well-equipped.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
How to prevent malware attacks on websites
There are many ways you can be proactive against threats on websites. Let’s discuss a few.
Updating your software programs frequently or as requested is vital because updates patches holes up so that hackers don’t get in through a crack. Also, it’s always good to stay knowledgeable with advanced features to have an improved experience overall.
If you have any plug-ins, you’ll want to make sure those are also updated. Developers are continuously making plug-ins more modern, and so just like you are always growing, so are the plug-ins. It’s crucial to be diligent in updating to ensure your security.
Because hackers are awaiting your every move, they’ll try to showcase their plot through sketchy looking pop-up update windows or random websites. If it looks skeptical, don’t do it. Stick with trusted updating platforms.
Now that we’ve examined how to avoid ransomware through websites and plug-ins let’s keep going.
Preventing Ransomware on Your Computer
There is plenty of trusted ransomware protection software out there for you to consider. Additionally, there are some more tactics you can utilize to ensure your protection.
Start with changing out your passwords every month or two; this means on routers, connected cameras, and any other device connected to your computer.
Make sure to invest in Anti-Malware programs and set them to update automatically. Also, make sure the updates finish.
If your anti-malware program is out of date or you’re ready to invest in one here are some of the top recommendations of 2020 as stated by IT Portal:
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
- Bitdefender’s VIP Antivirus
- F-Secure Antivirus SAFE
- Norton AntiVirus Plus
- Avira Antivirus Pro
- Trend Micro Antivirus and Security
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus
- G-Data Antivirus
- Comodo Window Antivirus
- Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus
It’s vital to go with trusted antivirus software as some programs can contain viruses in and out of themselves. With this list, you’ll be well on your way to virus-free living!
Aside from purchasing reliable antivirus software, it would help to secure your backup devices and make sure they’re working correctly.
Have a look through older programs on your desktop and laptop to delete older apps or programs that you no longer need. Doing so will not only clear up space but also eliminate other potential cracks in the system.
When entering secure information onto a payment portal, it’s always a good idea to double-check that the URL begins with https://, this means it’s safe.
Another good practice to follow is logging out of websites when you’re finished, especially for sites that you’ve recently entered personal information such as your address.
Last but not least, keep an eye out for malicious looking emails. Ordinarily, your email provider will automatically revert potentially harmful emails to your junk or spam, but occasionally an email can get by. Sometimes hackers might even pose as a family or friend, so be cautious.
How to Prevent WannaCry Ransomware and Similar Attacks
Now let’s look through some of the different types of ransomware, specifically one called WannaCry.
WannaCry attack first began in 2017. It is a ransomware that targets cryptocurrency. The targets of this specific attack are Microsoft Windows users. “The WannaCry attack hit around 230,000 computers around the world,” says Kaspersky. That same year, another similar but more malicious attack hit the web; Petya.
In addition to previously mentioned preventative measures, you should also use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi and or going over-seas.
Lastly, never use anonymous USB’s because they could be infected with some of these malicious attacks.
Now, onto the necessary steps to take if you do fall victim.
What To Do If You’re a Ransomware Victim
If you ended up being a successful target, don’t lose your marbles just yet. There are some actionable steps you can take.
First, do not pay the ransom fee because it will instigate what they’re trying to accomplish. Like waving a bar of chocolate in front of someone who is dieting, they’ll get excited if they sniff out a bit of vulnerability. Stand your ground. Ultimately, there’s no 100% guarantee that your information won’t be exposed and that you’ll be able to gain access to your data.
Next, you’ll want to contact your local FBI department, yes it is that serious. Alternatively, you can also leave a message on their online portal. You should not have to deal with this alone, and just like any other crime, it needs to be reported.
To make sure this doesn’t happen again, or even worse to your business, create a continuity plan to prevent ransomware attacks for the future.
You now have all the tools you need on how to prevent ransomware attacks!