Last month, a ransomware attack forced a multi-billion company to shut down their computer network. A similar attack hit a friend’s computer forcing him to format everything.
While recent attacks have been much publicized, ransomware has a bit of history tied to it. To summarize how it works, when ransomware hits a computer or network, it quickly spreads rendering files inaccessible. The computer user is then asked to pay a ransom (sometimes in bitcoins) to regain access to the files. Think of it like a cyber-Evans kidnapping your files and requesting a ransom.
To stay safe from such attacks, there are some pre-emptive measures you can take.
Here are five of them.
1. Do not open phish links in your email
Be careful the emails you open. Not all emails are what they seem. Some are Phish and meant to steal your personal information. Others may be a conduit to ship a ransomware or other malware to your PC. Always double, triple check an email to be sure it’s from a trusted party.
If in doubt, do not click on that link.
2. Avoid torrents and other funny websites
Ever visited a website and your browser warned you to leave the page? I have. Sometimes it happens on the websites we download videos. As much as possible, avoid torrents and other related funny websites. Torrents are huge security risks. Their sites are the harbingers of malware.
3. Get a licensed antivirus product
I often come across systems without any form of antivirus. Not like this is a bad thing. The only catch is, for a PC like that, you MUST stay off the internet and not connect an external storage media. Apart from that, there is no reason not to get an antivirus software for your computer.
One of the best things about antivirus is that it gives real-time protection to your PC. So, if a virus tries to infect your PC, the antivirus kicks in and nullifies the threat. Some of these software notify you anytime they sense suspicious behaviour.
There are many antivirus options in the market. Do your due diligence and pick one. Avoid downloading/buying pirated copies as these may lack support from the company. Plus, they may come with hidden vulnerabilities.
At Vanaplus.com.ng, you can get different antivirus software at the unbeatable prices.
4. Update your Windows OS
One of the major response to the ransomware attacks was a patch update from Microsoft for it’s Windows OS. The last two ransomware attacks have targeted vulnerabilities in computers running Windows OSes.
Always update your OS to the latest version. To do this, you have to buy an original Windows product. Windows 10 is the latest Windows operating system released to great reviews.
5. Back up your computer
This may not be a preventive measure, but backing up files is an important step in dealing with ransomware. If your PC is compromised, you can format it and restore files from the backup.
This is also helpful if you lose your files to PC damage or theft. I keep a backup of my most important personal documents in a 16GB USB flash drive. I do well to update this backup often.
If your files are larger, you can consider larger storage options like a 500GB or 1TB external hard drive. Make sure you keep your backup storage media in a safe location.
Following the above steps will reduce the chance of a ransomware attack. Your online, computer safety is your responsibility, take it seriously.
A Freelance writer, Tech enthusiast, Anime fan, Nice guy..