Ransomware is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common these days, and it is especially destructive because it is usually aimed at large companies such as universities and healthcare providers.
Ransomware is a communication sent via email that claims to have all of the recipient’s files locked and unusable, but the ransomware attack doesn’t stop there.
The next thing these criminals do is send you an email claiming that they have a way to unlock your files — but at a hefty price. Naturally, this is an illegal scheme, but many companies are not aware of that fact. If you’re worried about this happening to you, below are some ways to prevent the email from coming to you in the first place.
- Restore Your Files Immediately
From a good backup, go ahead and restore your files as best you can. Remember when you were told to back up your files on a regular basis? This is where it will come in handy! You may not have the most up-to-date files loaded onto your computer, but the files will be there nonetheless.
- Always Use a Firewall and Antivirus Software
Regardless of the type of data your computer contains, you need to keep a firewall and antivirus software loaded at all times. In addition, you have to make sure the software for these programs are provided by reputable companies you know you can trust. Of course, they should be kept up-to-date as well.
- Never Pay the Ransom
Many people panic and immediately pay the ransom because they’re afraid of what might happen to their files if they don’t. Never do this. Instead, notify the authorities immediately and have them tell you what to do next. Even if it’s the middle of the night and you feel like you have no other choice, you should still never pay the money associated with the ransomware attack.
- Never Give Out Your Personal Information
When answering emails or even sending a text to someone, it is crucial not to give out any personal information, even if you know the sender. Phishers are busy 24/7 trying to get this information so they can scam you in some way, so never give them this satisfaction. In fact, even phone calls should exclude you giving anyone personal information about yourself.
- Prepare Your Email Servers for the Worst
Email servers should always have content scanning and filtering done on a regular basis. When you’re receiving an email, it should be scanned for any threats, and any potentially dangerous attachments should be blocked as well. Naturally, you can get great software to do these things, and it can save you both time and headaches in the future.
- Keep Your IT Department in the Know
Another way to prevent a ransomware attack is to let your IT department know whenever you’re traveling out of the office. They may want you to use a virtual private network, or VPN, instead of public Wi-Fi. If you’re traveling to any place where you’ll be using a public wireless Internet, this is especially important.