Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts the victim’s data and demands a ransom for its decryption. It is one of the most prevalent and damaging cyber threats in the world today. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware attacks are expected to cost the global economy $265 billion by 2031. For many reasons, learning how to be protected from ransomware is highly important.
Ransomware attacks can affect anyone, from individuals to businesses, governments, and critical infrastructure. The attackers often target vulnerable systems, such as outdated software, weak passwords, or unsecured networks. They also use social engineering techniques, such as phishing emails or fake websites, to trick users into downloading or opening malicious files.
Tips to be protected from ransomware
To be protected from ransomware in 2023, follow some basic security practices and adopt some advanced solutions. Here are some tips:
- Keep the software updated: software updates often contain security patches that fix vulnerabilities that could be exploited by ransomware. Make sure to update the operating system, applications, antivirus, and firewall regularly.
- Backup the data: backing up the data is the best way to recover from a ransomware attack without paying the ransom. Back up the data to an external hard drive or a cloud service that offers encryption and versioning. Also, disconnect the backup device or account from the network when it’s not in use to prevent it from being infected by ransomware.
- Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication: strong passwords and multi-factor authentication can prevent unauthorized access to accounts and devices. Use a different password for each account and device, and avoid using common or easy-to-guess passwords. Also, enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code or a biometric factor to log in.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments: ransomware often spreads through phishing emails or fake websites that lure users into clicking on malicious links or attachments. Always check the sender’s address, the subject line, and the content of the email before opening it. Avoid visiting unknown or untrusted websites, and use a browser extension that blocks malicious ads and pop-ups.
- Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi: public Wi-Fi networks are often insecure and can expose data to hackers. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi, which encrypts traffic and hides the IP address. A VPN can also help to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in any region.
- Invest in a ransomware protection solution: ransomware protection solutions are software tools that can detect, prevent, and remove ransomware from devices. They can also help to restore data in case of an attack. Some of the features to look for in a ransomware protection solution are:
- Real-time protection: the solution should monitor the system for any suspicious activity or behavior that could indicate a ransomware attack.
- Ransomware removal: it should be able to remove any ransomware infection from the device and clean up any traces of it.
- Data recovery: it’s able to recover data from a backup or a shadow copy, which is a snapshot of the files that Windows creates automatically.
- Ransomware prevention: it can block any attempts to encrypt or delete the data by ransomware.
- Ransomware alert: it will alert of any ransomware attack and provide guidance on how to respond.
Ransomware is a serious threat that can cause significant damage and loss to anyone who falls victim to it. However, following these tips and investing in a ransomware protection solution can reduce the risk of being attacked and increase the chances of recovering from it.
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Photo by seth schwiet on Unsplash.
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