What is a Ransomware?
What is a ransomware and why do I need to keep my computer secured against it? A ransomware is a type of malware that takes hold of the user’s data and would either threaten to leak it in public or withhold it unless some sort of payment is given. Some of the recent and popular ransomware like WannaCry and Petya encrypts the computer’s data withholding all data within the infected computer and if you are a business owner, having computers that use for vital functions of the business infected would be a very bad situation.
Ransomware attacks are known to shut down an entire company’s computer system and halt the entire business’ operations. Even military organizations with its expected-to-be-better cyberattack defences fall prey to ransomware attacks. Ransomwares attack any computer that’s vulnerable and defenceless from businesses to household users. So what can you do to defence your computer against such malicious attacks? We list a few and simple steps you can do to secure your computer against ransomwares below.
Building Defences and Keeping Away from Danger
- Get an antivirus or antimalware software from a known and proven publisher. Always have the antivirus or antimalware updated at all times.
- Be vigilant on the websites you visit particularly the links you click. Browsers give a “security status” on every website. If you visit a website that’s marked dangerous or not secure, close the tab immediately. Even for “Not secure” websites, avoid clicking suspicious links and images.
- Be careful of phishing emails that randomly appear in your inbox and spam folders. If you do not know where the email came from, best to delete it particularly if there are attachments.
What to do in Case of Ransomware Attack
The best thing to do is to isolate the infected computer or device from your network. Immediately disconnect it from the internet and your network be it wired or wireless. Depending on the type of ransomware, you may or may not be able to retrieve your data from the infected computer. Trying to back up data to an external storage might be a bad idea. It would likely spread the malware and infect any computer you would plug it in. The best course of action would be to call an IT expert to get assistance to effectively contain the malware and might even be able to retrieve your data.
Ransomwares are far more dangerous and destructive than your average computer virus or worm. These type of malware can destroy and wipe a computer’s data clean within minutes. While some businesses give in to paying the ransom to decrypt the data, in most cases even the hackers don’t respond to such requests. So it’s better to be safe than sorry, build your computer’s defences today and waste no time.
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