How to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

How to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware is an appropriately-named type of malware attack where a cybercriminal locks and encrypts a victim’s data, typically demanding a payment before they unlock and decrypt the data. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your company by preventing this type of attack.

Try to Avoid Disclosing Personal Information

One of the most common ways a ransomware attack occurs is when a cybercriminal convinces you to disclose your personal information. They might send you a text message or email requesting your information for something, such as free money, donations, upgrades, and more. A cybercriminal might also give you a cold call offering you the same things in exchange for your personal information. The best way to prevent them from potentially attacking you is to not tell them anything about yourself. If you’re unsure if the person contacting you is legitimate, ask them questions first before giving them any information.

Don’t Click on Unsafe Links

Another common way a ransomware attack can occur is when you click on an unsafe link. You’ve probably seen random links that pop up on the sides of websites when you’re exploring the internet—most of those links, if not all, are malicious targets that cybercriminals create to execute an attack. If you click on one of them, an automatic download will begin, which could allow ransomware to infect your computer.

Only Download Files and Software From Known Websites

The best way to make sure you don’t accidentally download ransomware is to only use known and safe websites when you need to download files or computer software. When you download from an unknown website, the risk of a ransomware attack is a lot higher. To make sure you can trust a website, check if the browser is using “https” instead of “http” and if there is a shield or lock symbol in the address bar. If the website you’re using has a “http” address, it’s most likely not safe, especially if there is no shield or lock symbol. You should also be careful when you’re downloading files or apps on your phone or tablet. The same thing applies when you’re using those devices and the safest way to download apps is by using the app store.

Always Use VPN Services on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Your computer is also vulnerable to ransomware attacks when you use public Wi-Fi networks. But sometimes you can’t avoid it if you need to do work when you’re out of the office. The safest way to use public Wi-Fi networks is to use a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. A VPN is a private network that extends across a public network and allows users to safely send and receive data as if they were using their own private network. You get the safety of a private network without having to be in the office.

Keep Everything Up-to-Date

Cybercriminals are more likely to attack computers that are older and don’t have the newest security measures built into them. It’s easier for a ransomware attack to occur if a computer doesn’t have the latest security patches. You don’t have to have a top of the line computer, but you shouldn’t have the same computer for more than ten years because it will be harder to download the security patches you need. Upgrading your computer software frequently and getting a new computer every few years is the best way to protect yourself from a ransomware attack.

Able IT Pros has partnered with Acronis to provide our clients with the best protection possible. Through this partnership, we can offer backups, disaster recovery, security, and management easily and affordably. Let’s face it, during these uncertain times, a little peace-of-mind wouldn’t hurt! Contact us for more info.