If you’re not familiar with ransomware, it’s only because you’ve been lucky enough to never have had to deal with it. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from being able to access either their system, their personal files, or both. It can be incredibly devastating, especially for businesses and organizations who rely on these files or systems to run their business. With ransomware, the only way to get access back into your accounts is by paying a “ransom” to get the key needed to regain access. Ransomware is becoming more and more common so it’s important to know how to protect yourself. Below are four ways to do so.
1. Back up Your Data
The best way to make sure that you aren’t affected by ransomware is to back up your data on a regular basis. This way, if you do get attacked, you won’t feel obliged to pay whatever ransom is being asked of you to get your information and files back as you will already have them backed up on another drive. Simply make sure that you back up your files on an offline storage device or on the cloud.
2. Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links
It’s safe to say that most people have received a strange and suspicious email in their account at some point or another. These emails typically include links that you are asked to click on for a chance to win a big prize or cash. Be aware that these links are typically a ransomware attack in disguise so whatever you do, don’t click on them. You should also never click on pop up ads, especially ones with links embedded into them as these could also be an attempt to hack you.
3. Use an Antivirus Firewall for Protection
Perhaps one of the best ways you can protect yourself from a potential ransomware attack is to install an antivirus firewall. When choosing a firewall, be sure to weigh all your different options as there are several on the market today and not all are created equal. Some are also better suited for particular networks, whereas others may be more expensive or out of your budget. All in all, be careful in choosing the right firewall for you and make sure that you know how to use it properly.
4. Have a Recovery Plan
If a ransomware were to ever happen to you, the best way to deal with it is to already have a plan in place. This will make things less hectic and prevent as much damage as possible from the attack. Consider shutting down your network the second you notice the attack as a way to keep the virus from spreading, call the police, turn off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and delete any files that have already been infected. This way, you can restore the deleted files using the backup drive that you have where you backed up your files prior to the attack.