Whether you’re an individual or a business you’ve probably asked yourself, “what is ransomware”? It is a type of malware that restricts you from accessing your computer, gadget or files either by encrypting the hard drive or locking your computer until you have paid the ransom amount that is being demanded.
It is also referred to as cryptoworm, cryptovirus or cryptotrojan and is spread through various avenues such as email attachments, software updates, clicking on links in a spam email and enabling macros that is from a malicious file or document just to mention a few. In recent years various governments have made significant moves in minimizing the amount of ransomware attacks but how can you as an individual prevent these attacks and protect your files?
The following are tips that help prevent a ransomware attack:
- Backup your data
The major reason that hackers keep creating these types of malware is that they are sure that you hardly back up your data. Backing up data ensures that you can easily restore lost files whether they were stolen, your computer crashed or in this case it was encrypted. There are various methods that you can achieve this depending on the size of your files such as using thumb drives, a bootable backup, external backup drive or a cloud backup drive like Google drive.
- Update your antivirus
Most ransomware attacks pop up in a box that encourages you to update your antivirus, adobe player or flash player. To prevent these attacks it is advisable to update your antivirus software from a credible source.
- Use reliable websites
Ensure that the websites that you visit are safe and not fake. You can identify this through bad spellings, wrong emblems or symbols hence you need to verify the website before clicking on it. The malware is spread through clicking on links that have questionable origins that can be accessed through sites such Skype, Facebook and posts found on social media.
- Avoid opening Spam emails
It is important to install a spam setting in your computer which ensures that every spam email is detected early enough hence avoid any ransomware attack. You are also encouraged not to open emails and attachments that you don’t know of their origins.
- Activate firewalls
This is a security system that ensures that there is no unauthorized website access without compromising data traffic. Hence, it is advisable that whenever you access the internet ensure that the firewalls are active which will block the ransomware system from appearing in your system.
- Install Microsoft office word viewer
Installing the Microsoft viewer enables you to open, view and print documents. This prevents you from opening documents that malicious in nature and reduces the risk of being under attack.
Everyday hackers come up with new and improved ransomware systems and you should be one step ahead of them by applying the above tips. Don’t allow yourself to be caught unawares and lose your hard earned money on recovering lost files, a situation that can be avoided in the first place.