No malicious software is potentially as harmful as ransomware. This malware variety is used by notorious cyber criminals to intrude computers and gain access to sensitive data, which are then held ransom with the intention to extort money from the victim. While many people gladly oblige with the attackers demands to get back their files, there is no guarantee that they would in fact get what was promised after the payment has been made. The use of ransomware is becoming an increasingly popular way of extorting money due to the sheer negligence of consumers and companies.
There is a variety of ransomware that can intrude a system and exploit the vulnerabilities to install itself silently on the victim’s computer. This guide will teach you how to protect your computer from these threats so that your system does not fall victim to this harrowing ordeal. Here are 5 best ways to protect your computer from ransomware.
1. Regularly backup your data.
The best thing you can do to prevent ransomware infection is regularly backup your data. Many a time, the attackers take control of the user’s files leaving them no choice but to give in to their demands. If you have important data stored in a safe location such as in an external hard drive, USB pen drive, or CD/DVDs, you can get back your data from backup storage location and avoid being hassled.
Cloud-based platforms are also a great option for storing data to secure servers without spending extra money on buying physical drives.
2. Double check email identity.
If you receive any unexpected mail from a new or suspicious address, it is best to verify its legitimacy before downloading any attachment or complying with any request made by the sender. It doesn’t matter if the email comes from your bank or a personal contact; be sure to get in touch with them personally to enquire if indeed they have sent the mail. Do not solely rely on the virtue of relationships because your family or friends may also fall prey to spammers and hackers, who might be using their guise to deceive you.
3. Filter .pdf and .exe files.
Most executable malware, viruses, and ransomware come in either in. pdf or. exe file extensions. It would be easier to spot suspicious files if you have the default Windows option “hide known file extensions” turned off because then you’ll be able to see the files full extension. Also, do not download any .exe file from emails coming from a new or suspicious address just to be on the safer side. The better option to legitimately exchange executable files is via password protected zip files or through cloud services.
4. Have good antivirus software in handy.
Take the best protection you can by having both anti-malware and antivirus firewall installed on your computer. The firewall would help in identifying and filtering known suspicious files and other malicious behavior that would otherwise go unrecognized.
If the firewall fails for any reason, the anti-malware tool will be there to detect anomalies and eliminate the suspicious files that can potentially harm your computer. Since malware authors use a variety of methods to avoid detection, it is crucial that you keep your malware and virus protection tools up to date for an additional layer of security against attacks.
5. Avoid visiting suspicious sites.
You’ve heard it numerous times how visiting suspicious and illegal sites can harm your computer, but still decided to do it anyway. Well, you may have got lucky last time, but it is best that you don’t try and push your luck further because it is bound to run out sooner or later. There is no lack of malicious sites on the web operated by hackers with the sole intention of stealing data from the visitor’s computer. Ransomware may also be transmitted the same way, through a website that may ask you to use a plug-in in order to play a video or download an executable file to run a program.
So, be careful about the websites you visit and download files only from trusted sources. Again, a reputable antivirus firewall can help you in this scenario by notifying you about the legitimacy of a particular website.
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