The Stack Archive Article

Boost Your Security: 5 Ways to Protect Your Machine from Ransomware Attacks

Mon 1 Jun 2015

For many years now, malicious software also known as ransomware have made its way into our cybernetic lives and it started making headlines more often that we’d like to believe.

Ransomware is usually transmitted via email or web pop-ups and it involves locking up users’ data and then threatening to destroy it unless they pay a ransom. The last cyber-attack also known as WannaCry managed to affect more than 200,000 Windows computers in the whole world in over 150 countries including South Korea, Japan, China, Britain, and Germany.

The nasty cyber criminals have aimed at hospitals, blue-chip organizations, academic institutions, businesses like movie theater chains and even governments.

The thing is that a more cautious behavior might have been able to prevent the malware from infecting as many networks and devices at it did in the first place.

What can individuals and businesses do to protect themselves from ransomware? Well, we’re here with some solutions that will guarantee your safety. Keep on reading to find out more:

1. Updating your software

Most security experts believe that the malware may have initially infected devices by getting users to download it via email. After that, the code travelled easily to a broader network of computers that were linked together via the Windows file-sharing system. And the rest is history. But, if people had used the security updates offered by Microsoft their devices would not have been infected. So, we recommend that you remain vigilant and update your own machine as soon as possible.

2. Install an anti-virus

You have to do more than just keep your Windows operating system updated. You must know that anti-virus software will be able to prevent malware from infecting your PC. 30% of the most popular anti-virus systems were capable of detecting and then eliminating the latest ransomware.

3. Be aware of pop-ups and suspicious emails

As we already said, the WannaCry ransomware might have come through email attachments. So don’t click the links in suspicious emails anymore to protect yourself. Ransomware developers also use pop-up windows that advertise products destined for removing ransomware. Don’t bite! All you have to do is close those windows.

4. Create back-ups for your data

You can rescue yourself by creating back-ups for all of your data and you should store these somewhere else, on a physical drive, for instance. This way, if you’ve been hacked and the attacker locked down your PC you can just erase everything from your system and then restore it from the backup.

5. Create a security plan for your business

IT professionals working with large businesses should educate and also test employees on spotting suspicious emails and they should also install the latest updates on the companies’ systems.
In case you have already been attacked, disconnect your PC from the Internet so it won’t infect other machines as well. After that, use all the available security tools for unlocking your files or ask for a professional’s help. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Malwarebytes Deals as they can turn out to be your new best friends in situations like this.

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