Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. To put it bluntly, it can ruin a person or business’s reputation if the right precautions aren’t taken.
It’s Sunday morning. You wake up, run to the nearest coffee place, get your caffeine jolt for the day and head home. Although you would love to relax today, you know that you have an important client meeting tomorrow and you need to prepare.
*Cue logging into your computer*
Instead of the seeing the picture of you and your kids, dream truck or the pet that you are knowingly obsessed with, there’s:
- An FBI logo telling you that you are now under investigation for committing a federal crime and have 24 hours to pay a $500 fee or you will be sent to prison.
2. The blue screen of death is asking you to contact Microsoft technicians at a toll free number.
Unfortunately hackers are getting so good these days, that the type of attacks and how they go about it implementing them can be completely different.
Can we take a step back? Computer hackers were unheard of until the 1980’s. The first arrests of hackers known as the “414s” were busted by the Feds after members were accused of 60 computer break-ins ranging from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Can you believe that hackers are accessing over hundreds, millions, even billions of computers at one time? Talk about progression.
There’s good news and then there’s bad news. Ransomware is on the rise — bad news. There are ways to try and prevent it — good news. However, no matter how careful you are, there’s no way to completely prevent your data from being obtained — more bad news.
Decrease your chances of becoming ransomware’s next victim:
Use an antivirus software that is highly rated. A strong firewall and up-to-date security can do wonders, just make sure it’s the real deal.
Back up your data like it’s your job. You can do so via the cloud of an external hard drive. A back up can help immensely, especially if you are afraid of losing anything on your computer. The worst is when you have the intention of backing up your files, never do, and then get hit with a mega-virus. It’s a very sad, sad moment.
Be cautious, and by cautious I mean suspicious. Don’t click on an email from Johnny down in Alabama (unless you know a Johnny from Alabama). Avoid flashy websites — literally the flashy ones that look like a bunch of blocks with free prizes everywhere! You’re not that lucky 100th visitor, so don’t fall for it.
Pop-Ups should be blocked. Pop-ups are like those advertisements that you can’t help but want to click on because they are pretty and enticing or either or. Turn your pop-up blocker on and call it a day.
Disconnect from Cyberspace. Okay, so let’s say you do known of the above and receive a ransomware note. Make sure that you turn off the internet and log off of your computer (it can help disrupt the data from being transmitted over to the hacker). If you’ve backed up your data, re-install your software and re-store your data.
Have questions about ransomware prevention? Tweet us @ivrtechgroup