Ransomware: Prevent your computer from being infected


Ransomware

Ransomware: Prevent your computer from being infected

This week on “African Nova Scotia Directory," correspondent Victor NYANGULE writes about the growing cyber threat called ransomware, a type of malware that locks up a victim's files and denies access to a computer system until money is paid with a digital currency that is hard to trace. While this publication focuses on the effects of ransomware, just know that most attacks can be prevented when correct measures are put in place.

 

1. PRACTICE "CYBER HYGIENE"

Here are tips on how to prevent a ransomware attack:

  • Use two-factor authentication. Two-factor, or dual-factor authentication adds a layer of security to online accounts by requiring two ways of proving your identity. One common form of two-factor authentication is entering a password, then receiving a one-time numerical code via text message.
  • Backup your data offline. Use an external hard drive to secure important information.
  • Use internal firewalls on your network. That way, if a malicious actor accesses your computer, he cannot move laterally through the network and lock up the entire system. Experts liken it to preventing one person's case of the flu from turning into an epidemic.
  • Regularly update your password. Cyber criminals looking to hack into a system sometimes purchase stolen passwords on the dark web.
  • Remote access creates an additional set of vulnerabilities. Understand the risks, including the possibility of stolen passwords, and how to prevent them when allowing employees or IT staff remote access to networks.

 

2. BEWARE THE PHISHING EMAIL

The most common type of ransomware attack starts with a phishing email, which tries to get users to open an attachment or click on a link. The attachment or link then installs ransomware.

As I had mentioned before some of top 5 ways to spot PHISHING EMAILS Every Time. Here are few signs to identify phishing emails:

  • Misspelled words
  • Strange word choices
  • Odd links, especially from someone who wouldn't usually send a link
  • Unusual attachments, especially a zip file or a .exe file

Be aware of where the email is coming from, and if it appears to be coming from a friend, call the person and ask if they sent an attachment before you open it.

 

Related publication: Top 5 ways to spot PHISHING EMAILS Every Time

 

3. ALWAYS UPDATE YOUR COMPUTER'S SOFTWARE

When your computer tells you to update software, please, do it. The process is called patching or bug fixing.

A patch is a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data designed to update, fix, or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually being called bugfixes or bug fixes, and improving the functionality, usability or performance of the program hence computer will be safe

Over time, hackers find vulnerabilities within software, such as operating systems, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft Word. Vendors eventually patch those systems with regular updates so you need to update as well.

 

4. ALWAYS BE PREPARED

Last year (2018), a ransomware attack shut down the computer systems at Indiana's Hancock Regional Hospital. The entire network was held hostage until the hospital paid a $55,000 ransom. Its CEO, Steve Long, now warns others about the threat of ransomware.

Essentially, good organizational dynamics are what you need. So, the things you're trying to do anyway, that's what's going to help you get through this ransomware attack.

 

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Learn More About VINYSOFT:

Founded in 2015, VINYSOFT is a Canadian-based software development company that provides businesses worldwide with custom technology solutions and beyond technology. As a custom software development company with skilled software developers, VINYSOFT combines technological and business experts with experience and passion for excellence to deliver enterprise-grade solutions. VINYSOFT is a true and seamless front-end to back-end technology partner, helping your business accelerate the development of websites, web-based applications & mobile apps with on-demand developers that focus on moving your business forward. A team that breathe life into your idea.

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