How to Prevent Being a Ransomware Victim
Whether you’re a local small business owner or you’re overseeing a federal government agency, enterprises of all industries are susceptible to becoming a victim of ransomware. If you’ve never experienced the misfortune of being a ransomware victim, the experience is exactly how it sounds: ransomware is a variation of malware that locks and encrypts a victim’s computer or data, with the hacker demanding a ransom in return for giving access back to the victim. And if you think being the target of a ransomware attack seems implausible, think again.
In recent years, the number of ransomware attacks upon computer users has increased by 148%, with over 4,000 ransomware attacks occurring daily in the U.S. since 2016. From opening phishing emails with malware attachments to unknowingly visiting an infected website, there are plenty of ways ransomware can creep into your computer system and wreak havoc.
So how do you stay protected from ransomware with all these cases seemingly on the rise? If you’re trying to boost your line of cybersecurity defense, here are a few tips to prevent yourself from becoming a ransomware victim.
Always Backup Your Data
Backing up your data is the first and foremost element to protecting all your files, documents, or private information from ransomware. Whether it’s on an external harddrive or you’re utilizing a cloud-based storage system, having an external backup of your data will ensure that you can still access and share it in the event it’s being held ransom. The more often you’re backing up your data, specifically using off-line resources, the more peace of mind you’ll have if you do eventually fall victim to a ransomware attack.
Always Stay Suspicious
It can’t be overlooked how often you have to trust your gut when using the Internet. Avoid any suspicious links, emails, attachments, or digital content at all costs, as clicking on them could immediately start downloading malicious software onto your computer or device. Only use websites or contacts you trust when downloading anything online, and be sure to keep an eye out for a shield or lock symbol within the address bar of whatever website you’re visiting, which will indicate that the page is safe and secure.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks
The more you use public Wi-Fi networks, the higher risk you run of eventually contracting ransomware. Because public or free Wi-Fi networks essentially require no authentication to establish, hackers can gain ultimate access to any unsecured devices that connect to the same network. This is why essentially every cybersecurity expert recommends using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service when accessing the Internet out in public, which will keep your connection and data secure and private, greatly reducing the likelihood of being hacked.
Keep Your Security Systems Up-to-Date
Your operating system, programs, Internet browser, security software; essentially every component of your computer or mobile device needs to be up-to-date to ensure that you’re receiving ultimate protection from ransomware. Anytime you notice an update notification, be sure to take the time to accept it, which can provide your computer with all the latest security patches. This will keep your data protected from new, evolving ransomware threats that can surpass any dated or expired online security resources.
Take Cybersecurity Seriously with Telecom Technologies
From cloud-based security systems to free decryption tools, taking advantage of all the cybersecurity options that are currently available to you will do wonders for eliminating the threat of ransomware.
At Telecom Technologies, we work with all of our clients to assess their cybersecurity needs and create custom preventive solutions that will instantly boost their line of defense against malware and other cybersecurity threats. Contact us today to schedule a consultation of our telecommunications services, or give us a call at 651.456.5800 to speak directly with one of our telecommunications specialists.