5 Tips for Avoiding Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software or malware which unlawfully gains access to your computer or technology device and restricts or blocks your access unless and until they pay a ransom. These criminal entities may threaten to publish your personal data illegally or may threaten the permanent loss of access to your information if you don’t pay the demanded ransom within a specified time. 

Ransomware can encrypt your data files and effectively lock your computer’s operating system, and can affect both individuals as well as companies. Here’s 5 tips for avoiding ransomware.

Why Is Ransomware Bad and How Can It Damage Businesses?

A ransomware attack can often cause irreparable damage and temporary or even permanent data loss. It could lead to big financial distress for companies which need to close down revenue generating functions and departments owing to this data compromise. 

There is also a chance for a shutdown of your entire corporate operations. This will in turn lead to disgruntled clients, lowered confidence of your IT teams, and a bad reputation in the industry, leading to loss of business and revenues.

Five Tips for Avoiding Ransomware

  1. Partner with a reputed Managed Service Provider (MSP): Smaller companies may not have the required advanced IT infrastructure or specialized skills to steer completely clear of ransomware and cybercrime. They can employ MSPs to use their expertise to take care of this need for them. MSPs can install high-tech security tools across the organization and its devices, which largely mitigates the risk of ransomware attacks. They also deploy DNS filters and website scanners which restrict the access of malicious sites by the users of the company devices.
  2. Never divulge personal details online without confirming the authenticity of the request: The internet can be a hotbed for nefarious activity. Cyber criminals will often use emails, calls, and text messages to get your personal details to plan a ransomware attack. They use this data to send phishing messages directly to you at a later date which may appear genuine to the untrained eye. Whenever in doubt, do not open such messages or emails unless you identify the source and verify the sender.
  3. Use reputable download sources and a secure VPN service: Always use verified sites for downloads. A few tips to determine safe sites are to ensure the browser address bar has a lock symbol and that it uses ‘https’ at the start of the address instead of using ‘http’. When using public WiFi networks, always make use of a secure VPN service. Sensitive transactions are best put through on a secure personal network.
  4. Avoid clicking on unidentified links and suspicious emails: It’s best to avoid clicking on unknown website links or the unidentified attachments which appear in your spam. If done, this can trigger an infected device and a possibility of an automatic download of ransomware. Always ensure that you’ve verified the sender before opening such links or emails.
  5. Regularly update your computers’ operating systems: By maintaining a regular updating of your computers’ operating systems and software programs, and by using the latest security patches, you are safeguarding yourself against cyber-attack.

With the advancement of technology infrastructure also comes the risk of the latest strain of ransomware threat. It pays to always be on guard against cyber-crime. By employing some protective measures, a company can help keep cyber-attacks at bay and help with avoiding ransomware. These include employing the latest operating software, maintaining backup plans to a potential attack, and setting up strong security protocols for employees to ascertain possible ransomware.