Cybercriminals have turned ransomware into a very lucrative business model.
In the US alone, ransomware attacks cost an estimated $7.5 billion in 2019, and that number skyrocketed in 2020.
And now, with almost half of the victims choosing to pay to have their files unlocked, ransomware is on track to become one of the most common forms of cyberthreats.
If there ever was a time to start taking preventative measures against ransomware, it’s now.
Here’s what you need to know about staying safe from ransomware.
5 tips to avoid ransomware
Discover our complete Guide on Ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malware that works by locking your device or network and extorting you for payment to restore your files.
It’s one of the most famous criminal moneymaking schemes in our digital age.
Attackers generally try to infect you with ransomware through:
- Suspicious links
- Email attachments
- DM attachments or links
- Phishing websites
Since there are so many ransomware variants, it’s easy to fall into their trap. But there are some key things you can do to keep your ransomware risks at a minimum.
1. Regularly back up your files
Ransomware attacks rely on one thing: your willingness to pay to regain access to your files back. But, hackers have nothing on you anymore if you keep your documents backed-up in the cloud or on storage devices.
In case of an attack, you can just reset your device to factory settings, restore your files, and carry on with your life.
So, start backing up your files asap.
2. Don’t fall for phishing attempts
Learn how to spot a phishing email.
Malware needs an entry point to your device, so cyber criminals will try to trick you into answering an email, an unsolicited phone call, a text message, or even an instant message.
Their goal is to get you to click on a link or download an installer that will infect your device with ransomware. Don’t fall for phishing scams and pay attention to all the details online.
3. Avoid public Wi-Fis
As ubiquitous as they are, open hotspots are generally unsecured. So, hackers can infiltrate them, snoop on network traffic, and get valuable information in plain text.
4. Use a good antivirus and firewall solution
These two are a must for your cyber hygiene.
A good antivirus notifies you if something shady is going on before your device gets encrypted. Make sure you run malware scans regularly and delete suspicious files.
Likewise, the right firewall solution detects attempts to infiltrate your device, so have it on.
5. Make sure your software is up to date
Most ransomware victims had vulnerable apps, so clicking ‘Maybe later’ on every update notification is not a good idea.
That’s because sometimes, updates come with security patches. And they’re meant to prevent malicious parties from exploiting potential vulnerabilities.
If you want to keep your software safe and only use the latest versions available, Security Updater is just what you need.
Well, there you have it. These were the five good cyber hygiene habits you should have in place to avoid any ransomware attack. Follow them, and you’ll probably avoid the dreadful situation of having to weigh the pros and cons of paying a ransom.
Thank you for keeping up with Privacy Hub. Until next time, make sure to stay safe and secure!