Useful guest piece by Apoorv Bhatnagar, a SEO analyst from Systweak Software, giving advice on how to protect your files.

Ransomware is a popular amongst criminals used to extort a user by keeping your data hostage and asking for ransom. Lately, the world has witnessed a couple of such attacks. It seems that escaping the malware attacks is almost impossible. But it is always wise to take safety measures to protect your computers from such attacks.

In this post, we have listed some of the ways to keep our computer protected and stop the ransomware from affecting it.

1. Always, Always Take A BackupWe all keep our important data on our computers whether it’s our documents or movies collection. What if your data gets lost or your drive gets corrupted. Or in worst case scenario, your system is not accessible due to ransomware attack. To avoid all the situations, it is recommended to take a backup of all the precious data. You can take a backup on the cloud or you can also store your data on the external drive. Cloud backup is preferred than other backup ways as you can access data anywhere anytime. However, keeping it an external drive also has its perks. So if you get into any trouble, you will always have all your data.

2. Be Suspicious Of Emails, Websites, And Apps

It is said that it’s good to stay cautious always. Hackers try to victimize people by sending links to emails or by redirecting to malicious websites.  The common ways to do it is by phishing emails, malicious adverts, and more. As soon as you click on the suspicious link, it will download malicious software onto your computer. Once the software is installed, it then initiates the attack and encrypts your files.

So, it is advised to not open unsolicited emails or questionable links to avoid the attacks. Moreover, you should download apps on your computer from the official website. You should download and install programs after reading reviews about it.

3. Use Ransomware Protection Tools

It is always advised to get ransomware protection tools for your computer. The security software acts as a shield between your computer and the outer world. It will not let any ransomware or another malicious software download on your computer. Moreover, it also helps to point out if there is any malicious content on your computer.

The software can scan files to check whether the file downloaded is safe or not. It can also block unwanted and hidden installations from malicious advertisements when you are on the web. It can scan and find out if your computer is already infected.

4. Always Install Updates

The operating system manufacturers often release software update fix bugs and other vulnerabilities which can be used by hackers to victimize a user.  It is always recommended to install the updates as they get released. The same thing applies to the software install on your computer, always install the update for them as soon as it releases.

5. Secured Network Configuration

Network equipment like routers, switches, and other wireless access points are used in the organizations. It is advised that they should be properly configured with updated firmware. This helps in times when you are under attack. It is recommended to have an optimized network for Virtual LANs (VLANs) and it should be handled in such a way so that data gets delivered properly. The security benefit of VLANs is to systematically quarantine malicious traffic to avoid spreading the infection to other devices. This is beneficial when administrators have to deal with compromised hosts.

6. Never Pay The Ransom

If you fell into the trap of cyber criminals, and they ask you to pay a ransom, never do that. It is advised not to pay ransom to the hackers as you never know whether your files will get recover even after paying. Disconnecting the computer from the network seems convenient but is not a good idea as it increases the risk of data loss. There are other solutions to this issue – you can get programs to decrypt your files. But if you have a backup of your data, you can restore it easily.

So, these are some of the ways in which you efficiently stop the ransomware from affecting your computer.


Edited and prepared by Amy Murphy, Journalism student from DCU.

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