Without a doubt, ransomware attacks have become far more common in the past few years. In fact, cyber attacks as a whole have become quite commonplace. It seems that almost every day new forms of ransomware are discovered. Unfortunately, experts predict that the problem of malware is not going away any time soon. Therefore, computer users need to learn how to protect themselves from malware and other cyber attacks.
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid becoming a ransomware victim.
The easiest, and arguably the most effective, way to protect yourself from ransomware attacks is by making backups. Not only should you back up your data, but you should also back up the entire computer system. However, simply one backup likely won’t cover it. You need to make serial backups, which means that you should have older versions of the system and files available. Ransomware and other malware can cause your most recent backups to corrupt. Malware is also capable of encrypting newer backups so that you cannot access them.
Ideally, you want to keep some of your backups offline to protect yourself against some of the more sophisticated ransomware. Some ransomware is designed not only to encrypt all backups on your system, but to also encrypt backups on flash drives and connected network shares.
Once you have your system of backups in place, you should make an effort to update regularly. Should your computer become infected with malware, you want the backups to be as close to current time as possible for obvious reasons.
Adopt a Layered Approach
Another excellent defense against malware is to have a layered approach, which means not relying on a single method to protect your system and data. Not only should you have a firewall in place, but you should have anti-virus software installed as well as web filtering. Fortunately, in this day and age, adopting a layered approach is much easier because you have cyber security software that will do all three for you. Don’t forget to disable the ability to run an execution file from Local App Data folder or an App Data folder. The vast majority of ransomware nowadays work by running an execution file from these folders. Essentially, the more defenses you have, the better.
Once you have all your defenses for cyber security up, your work isn’t over yet. You should take the initiative to update all your software on a regular basis. The reason updates and patches exist for anti-virus software is because new forms of ransomware are always being released. These software updates are intended to protect against these new ransomware.
If a computer is a part of an entire network of computers at an organization, you should make sure to restrict the privileges for the computer. This is because ransomware will typically have the same privileges as the computer user. Therefore, if the computer user has administrative privileges locally or globally, so will the ransomware. This can result in the ransomware spreading quickly to other computers within your workplace. The ransomware may be able to encrypt all the files in an entire network. Everyone would agree that removing the ransomware from just one computer is far easier than removing ransomware from potentially hundreds of computers.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to avoid becoming the victim of a ransomware attack. The tips discussed above should provide you with protection against even the most sophisticated ransomware and the most clever criminals. Just make sure you take steps to protect yourself now before it is too late.