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Protect Your Data From Ransomware With These 5 Steps

Ransomware is malware (similar to a computer virus) that is malicious software that encrypts (scrambles) your computer files and data, so that it is unusable). Your information (your documents, images, browsing history, basically everything on your device) is rendered unreadable by this attack. This is usually followed by a demand for money, if you want your data decrypted.

5 Steps to Defend Against Ransomware

You don’t want to be affected by ransomware. Your data is yours, not a toy for some faceless scammer to take off you until you pay up, usually in Bitcoin or some other crypto-currency.

Fortunately, we have some steps you can take — and behaviors you can adopt — to keep your data out of the hands of the scammers.

1. Make regular backups.

This is Ransomware Defense 101. The scammers want to restrict access to your data, but if you have a recent backup copy of it, they’ve already lost. Organise your vital data so that it is stored in a single location, and regularly back it all up.

But backup copies that are connected to your computer can also be encrypted by ransomware – so also take a backup copy off-site, and disconnected and away from it’s original location .

Your backup schedule should be based on how often your files are updated. Daily user? Backup daily, or even, hourly.

2. Keep your computer updated.

Whatever platform you’re using, desktop, tablet, or smartphone –  keep your software up-to-date. This includes Windows, Mac or Android – updates install the latest security patches and bug fixes, thus protecting you from software vulnerabilities.

3. Spot suspicious files, enable file extensions.

One way of combating ransomware (and other malware) is to use your eyes. Don’t open or click on email messages that you don’t recognise or are from unknown people.  And don’t download files or information from unknown internet websites or people you don’t know. Remember what children are taught : “Don’t talk to strangers”!

Many malicious software have multiple file extensions (such as, for example, .PDF.EXE) which immediately identifies them as dangerous, if you know what you’re looking for. By enabling file extensions in Windows, you can spot and delete them (or let your anti-virus software destroy them).

There is also training available to learn how to identify and deal with this.

4. Use Email filtering.

In 2019 you should not be receiving emails without first filtering or checking them for viruses, malware and phishing attempts. If you don’t, at least set up a rule that filters out, and deletes, email-bound EXE files. These should never be sent via email and never be opened when received.

5. Use an internet security suite.

No matter how careful you are when using the Internet, it’s always advisable to have antivirus software installed on your computer.

As with all security challenges, the best protection you’ll get from ransomware is with a competent internet security suite. While free internet security tools maybe sufficient for live scanning for viruses, you need to consider a paid alternative.

And when it comes to ransomware protection, only premium internet security suites offer tools that protect your data. By blocking permission to these directories, your data should remain safe. Various suites offer this feature.

(For more information on how to better protect against Ransomware and other Malware and malicious Viruses, contact PC KING)

Source : https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/protect-data-ransomware-5-steps