People at times forget what ransomware is. It is a virus or an encryption trojan that gets on computer systems and encrypts and locks both the data and the operating system. As soon as it gets hold of a computer system and its user as a system hostage, it demands a ransom to release them all.
Those who don’t want to find themselves at crossroads with ransomware, don’t want to face a locked system, an encrypted file or their whole computer locked out. A way to reduce the chances of infection is by using top-quality security software. Attention should be paid to the state of the antivirus and antimalware software too.
Using anti-ransomware software and measures protects users from losing their files and also, just releasing their data through a ransom. Ransomware infections take place through fraudulent and insecure websites, illegal software downloads, and spam emails. Individuals, employees, and companies of all backgrounds, strata, and sizes are targeted.
Security vulnerabilities in computers – are people potentially targets of ransomware?
A lot of factors that can make anyone the target of a ransomware attack. They are as under:
• The device used is not a modern one.
• The software in the device is outdated.
• Either the browsers or operating systems (or both) lack the patches.
• No proper backup plan exists.
• Not much attention was given to cyber security and there was no concrete plan in place.
A vulnerability scan can be carried out by top-notch security software. It can fix any issues detected. Also, regarding the aforementioned points, any of those points indicate systems being vulnerable to a ransomware attack.
The software scans the device for possible security vulnerabilities. The operating systems are examined as well. Even the programs installed in computer systems are checked too. Through detection of the vulnerabilities, it is possible to prevent computer systems from getting infected (and also, preventing malware from infiltrating the system too).
Protection against ransomware – in what ways can a ransomware infection be prevented?
Experts providing DNS DDoS Protection in North York, have decided to share key tips to prevent ransomware from affecting computer systems at all places and levels (including mobile devices):
Do not click on unsafe links
No one should click on links present in spam messages or on unknown sites. Those who click on them will see an automatic download initiated, and this can lead to the computer system being infected (laptops and mobile devices too).
No user should ever disclose their personal information
If users receive a call, a text message, or an email from an untrustworthy source requesting personal information, then they should not reply. Cybercriminals trying to conduct a cyberattack often plan in advance. They even collect data in advance. It is then used to create custom phishing messages to trick unsuspecting users.
In case users have any doubt about the message being legitimate, they should immediately contact the sender.
Never open suspicious email attachments
Ransomware also finds its way to devices and systems through email attachments. No user should ever try opening any suspicious attachment(s). Those who want to be sure the email is trustworthy need to give attention to the sender’s legitimacy. If the email address is dubious then it’s a suspicious one.
No user must ever open any attachments from suspicious emails. They should not even check the macros. If the attachment is infected, opening it will kick-start a malicious macro giving the computer control to the malware.
No one should use unknown USB sticks
No one should ever use unknown USB sticks or connect them or other storage media to the computer, especially if it is unclear where they came from. Cybercriminals may have infected the storage devices and placed them publicly to entice unsuspecting users into using them. Unknown USB sticks also have dangerous viruses, potent enough to wipe hard drives clean.
Keeping all programs and operating systems up to date
Users must always regularly update programs and operating systems. This helps protect them and the operating systems from malware and viruses. When updates are happening, the latest security patches need to be downloaded. It makes it hard for cybercriminals to hack computer systems and devices, and to exploit vulnerabilities in them too.