How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware

As discussed in our previous post, ransomware can be a nightmare. Recovering files is impossible without the attacker’s approval, so you need to avoid data loss in the first place.

The best thing you can do is stay smart and stay safe before a hacker spots you.

  • Refer to our previous post, How to Spot Phishing Emails where you’ll learn how to spot and avoid phishing. Phishing is where an attacker attempts to have you reveal sensitive information to them. If you receive a suspicious email from your aunt, friend  or work colleagues, ask yourself whether it’s unusual before you click. If you’re not sure, cross-check with the sender via a different medium, such as giving them a phone call or send an text message.
  • Be smart. Don’t install any software, plugins or extensions unless you know they’re from a reputable source. If in doubt, ask and only rely on trusted download sources. And certainly don’t be tempted to pick up USB sticks found on your pathway
  • Update your software (comprising your operating system, web browser and other installed sofware) regularly to ensure you are always running the latest versions
  • Backup! Important documents should be treated like valued possessions. Whether you use the cloud, USBs or external hard drives, rotate your backups daily or weekly, and don’t leave your back-up device plugged in because current malware strains can scan removable USB disks. Having multiple copies means the adversarial effort on holding you for ransom is pretty much worthless.

Although relatively uncommon, Ransomware is a serious threat. Its rapid growth is being driven by the low risk to attackers and good financial returns. We all need to stay ahead of the game.