Ransomware is more common than you might think. With more and more companies joining the online community, there are more hackers following suit. Access to passwords and important information is at fingertips of these expert hackers. However, there are five things you can do to help steer clear of ransomware.
1. Keep your software up to date
When software is up to date, it is much harder for hackers to find holes to penetrate. Make sure that you consistently update your software. It will make ransomware much more difficult. As an employer, you can protect your employees from ransomware by simply encouraging them to keep their software up to date.
2. Use strong passwords
One of the most common ways that ransomware gets into systems is through weak passwords. In our day and age, computers can easily hack into passwords that are simple, used repetitively and common. By using strong passwords, you can make it much harder for hackers to break into your system. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders
One of the most common ways that ransomware is spread is through email attachments. If you receive an attachment from an unknown sender, do not open it. If you must open the attachment, make sure that you have a good antivirus program that can scan the file before you open it.
4. Back up your data regularly
If you do get hit with ransomware, one of the best ways to protect your data is to have a regular backup schedule. That way, if your files do get encrypted, you can simply restore them from your backup. Make sure that you store your backups offline so that they cannot be accessed by the ransomware.
5. Use a reputable antivirus program
A good antivirus program can protect you from a lot of different types of malware, including ransomware. Make sure that you choose a reputable program and that you keep it up to date. As an employer, you can install a corporate-level antivirus program to protect all of the computers on your network.
If you do find yourself victim to ransomware, there are a few things you can do.
1. Do not pay the ransom
There is no guarantee that paying the ransom will actually get your files back. In fact, there is a good chance that it will simply encourage the hackers to target you again.
2. Restore your files from a backup
If you have a recent backup of your files, you can simply restore them from the backup. This is the best way to protect your data if you have been hit with ransomware.
3. Use a decryption tool
There are some decryption tools available that may be able to decrypt your files. However, these tools are not always successful and they may not be able to decrypt all of your files.
4. Reformat your computer
If you cannot decrypt your files or restore them from a backup, the only other option is to reformat your computer. This will delete all of the files on your computer, so make sure that you have a backup before you reformat.
By following these simple steps, you can help protect yourself from ransomware. If you do find yourself victim to ransomware, there are a few things you can do to try and recover your data. However, the best way to protect your data is to take preventative measures instead of working to recover.