Ransomware is among the many types of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom to restore access to the data. Your computer can get ransomware from unsafe software downloads, fraudulent websites, insecure email attachments, etc.
10 Tips to Protect Your System From Ransomware
Security loopholes such as outdated software and unpatched operating systems make you vulnerable to ransomware attacks. If you think you may be a potential target of these malicious acts, consider the following measures to protect your data and computer system.
Don’t Click Links Without Verifying Them
Spam emails and messages may ask you to visit unknown websites using a suspicious link. If and when you click those links, an automatic download can install malware into your system and infect the computer. Thus, avoid clicking any link without verifying it. Use online tools like VirusTotal to check if a link contains malware.
Don’t Disclose Personal Information to Strangers
Social engineering experts are hackers who use phishing techniques to steal your credentials. They can do it via email, text message, or voice call. You can prevent these phishing attempts by staying vigilant. If messages don’t come from trusted sources, don’t reply in the first place.
Cybercriminals may pretend to contact you from a trusted authority. Never share your credentials, such as usernames or passwords, at any cost. Always double-check the identity of suspicious messages.
Use Encrypted Proxies
When using public Wi-Fi, you should invest in private residential proxies to secure your data in transit. Public Wi-Fi connections are a prime target of hackers who want to steal your personal information. They conduct man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks to install ransomware on a victim’s device. Always use a trustworthy review site to choose the best premium proxy provider.
Refrain From Using USB Sticks of Unknown Identity
Avoid connecting unknown USB devices to your computer. Cybercriminals use thumb drives like the USB Rubber Ducky, which can bypass antivirus software and install ransomware on a PC. Always inspect if the USB comes from a legit user or co-worker before plugging it into the computer.
Beware of Suspicious Email Attachments
Email attachments are the favorite instruments of hackers to launch ransomware attacks. Avoid opening any unverified email attachments. Ensure the email originates from a reliable source by checking the sender’s email address. Again, you can use VirusTotal’s online tool to check if the file contains malware after downloading.
Beware When Running Macro-Enabled Files
Macro viruses come with benign-looking documents such as DOCX files which ask you to run macros. Decline any request that tells you to run these pieces of code, as they can corrupt your system.
Update Your OS and Applications
To protect your device from ransomware attacks, you must update your computer programs periodically. Also, updating your operating system will help you secure the system by installing the latest security patches. This approach will make it very hard for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.
Always Use Secure HTTPS Connections
If a website has an HTTP-only connection, avoid using it altogether. Only browse those websites with an HTTPS connection. The “S” in “HTTPS” stands for secure. The HTTPS protocol encrypts your data on transit and minimizes the risks of an MITM attack. When you visit a website, look at the browser’s address bar to check if the URL has a shield or lock symbol (often green), denoting that your connection with the site is safe.
Download Software From Official Sources Only
Use official sources like Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store, and official Linux repositories to download apps on your computer. Don’t download binaries from unsafe and unofficial sites, as they can come with ransomware and viruses.
Back Up Your System and Files
As a final measure, keep multiple recoverable backups of your system. Make regular copies of your critical files on the cloud or a physical storage system such as hard disks or thumb drives to avoid losing them if a ransomware attack ensues. This way, you can restore an older file version even if ransomware encrypts your computer.
Apart from the suggestions offered above, you can install anti-ransomware software to bolster your security against attacks. Also, regular backups are necessary for a recovery plan in worst-case scenarios. Eventually, you may fall victim to a ransomware attack despite these measures. In this case, consider ransomware removal processes to solve the problem.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.