Home » Anti-Ransomware » What is Ransomware? 15 Easy Steps To Protect Your System

Since the dawn of computers, there have been people trying to get access to your systems.

Previously, it was worms, viruses, and trojans that were the real worry. Unfortunately, recent years have given rise to ransomware. Unfortunately, ransomware is considerably worse than any virus or normal malware.

In this article, we’ll help you understand what ransomware is, and the steps that you can take to protect yourself from them.

What is Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software). Once it infects your computer it encrypts all of the data on it, making it completely inaccessible. That is until you pay a ransom, in which case your access will be restored.

Common Ransomware Attacks

The most widely discussed ransomware was Wanna Cry due to it affecting more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries. However, there have been countless other examples such as; Locky, Bad Rabbit, Ryuk, Troldesh, Jigsaw, CryptoLocker, and Petya.

Protect Yourself From Ransomware

Now that you have the basics, it’s time to discuss how to protect yourself from getting affected by ransomware attacks.

1. Think Before Paying

If you’re already infected, paying might make sense, especially if it’s a small amount. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that paying will release your data. Furthermore, by paying you’re funding the attackers and you’ve highlighted yourself as a prime target. So while it might be simple, it’s definitely bad in the long run.

Think Before Paying

 

Furthermore, you can also try and remove ransomware yourself. If it does get too difficult for you, there are now companies specializing in Ransomware removal and decryption so you’ll be able to save your systems by paying ethical people. However, if you carefully follow all of the steps below you should be able to avoid it from happening in the first place.

2. Update Security Systems

The most important part of keeping your system safe is keeping your security systems up to date. This means using Firewalls, AntiVirus and AntiMalware tools. Luckily there are plenty of options for these, however, we would definitely recommend the DefenceByte Anti Ransomware tool.

Many may claim as the best free anti ransomware, but they cannot offer robust protection against threats, which DefenceByte promises to offer without even affecting PC’s performance.

3. Don’t Use Administrator Accounts

One of the weakest factors in most people’s systems is that they use administrator accounts by default. This makes it considerably easier for ransomware to install and run itself. On your computer and laptop you should always have at least two user accounts. One should be your user account and the other one the administrator account. While it does cause some minor annoyances, we think you’ll agree that your online safety is more important.

4. Scan Your Emails

One of the weakest links in internet activities can be emails. Most importantly, you train yourself to be able to spot fake and malicious emails. However, on top of this it’s also possible to get tools that scan your emails for any malicious content. While most email providers now do this by default, with hackers getting smarter every day, a dedicated solution won’t hurt.

Scan Your Email

5. Pay Attention to News and Events

As with any malicious software, there are always people and groups coming up with new ideas and attacks. Therefore, it’s important to stay up to date regularly to see if there are any new attacks out there and ways that you can protect yourself. Of course, you don’t need to do this daily but once a week or fortnight is a good idea.

6. Educate Friends, Family, and Coworkers

Most of us share our daily operations and systems with other people – friends, family, and coworkers. It’s not enough that you protect yourself, you should also help and assist those around you. Unfortunately, once a malware is on a network it can spread rapidly so protecting those around you is just as important as protecting yourself.

7. Encrypt Your Data

The Malware already encrypts your data so this might seem counterintuitive. However, if the malware has access to your files, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t make a copy of it. If your data is encrypted, then at least they won’t be able to read its content.

8. Use Strong Passwords

Unfortunately, many of us use weak passwords, and 65% of people use the same password everywhere. A weak password not only means a weak entry point to your system, but reusing the same password can mean that the attacks can get access to even more data. In this way, you’ll open yourself up to even more harm. Luckily, there are multiple password managers on the market that make password management easy.

Use Strong Passwords

9. Map Your Attack Surface

This might sound a difficult process but it’s actually a complicated way of figuring out what devices you have. If you’re looking at your household it should be relatively easy: your computers, tablets, phones, and router. Of course, any internet connected device can be the point of attack so even things like smart CCTV or your car needs to be considered. With companies, it’s a lot more complicated and you should consider a Threat Management platform.

Understandably, once you have a clear vision of what devices are open to attack, you can protect them easier.

10. Patch and Upgrade Your Vulnerable Devices

Once you know what devices you have in your network, you can get on to patching and upgrading them. Patches and upgrades often contain fixes to security weaknesses, so it’s important to do this regularly. Luckily your computers and phones will do this automatically but you should be careful with other devices such as routers, printers, and more.

11. Have Backups

The biggest reason people end up paying for malware removal, either to the hackers or for a company, is because of loss of access to their important data. For this reason, you should always backup your data on a regular basis. That is to say, that you should do a local backup daily, and an external backup at least once a month. An external backup is important as that way no matter how affected your systems are you’ll still have access.

Have Backups

12. Segment Your Network

As we mentioned already, once a malicious software is on a network, it can easily spread and cause having. By splitting your network into smaller sub-networks and access points, you can help stop malicious software from spreading. This is understandably more important for companies than for individuals.

13 Secure Your Extended Network

With the above in mind, it’s not enough to secure your local network but also your extended network. This can be done in multiple ways but you’ll likely need an expert. However, if you live in a location where you can influence this e.g. a college, then talk to the appropriate personal to see what steps have been taken.

14. Run Recovery Drills

As mentioned multiple times in this guide, it’s important to use antivirus ransomware software but also to proactively protect yourself. However, as also mentioned, hackers are constantly getting smarter. This means that no matter how much you try to protect yourself, you might still get affected. For this reason, you should regularly check that the recovery steps you’ve put in place, still function and work as expected.

15. Use Experts

Most of us aren’t computer experts. Therefore, if any of the information in this guide is hard to follow, or confusing, then don’t be afraid to hire an expert. Like you visit a doctor if you’re ill, a computer expert can help guide you through and set things up for you. The one-off cost will be a lot cheaper than having to pay for ransomware and maybe you’ll be more knowledgeable by the end of it too.

Use Experts

Conclusion

So there you have it. Everything you need to do to protect yourself from ransomware. If you need more help with a step, then browse our site to find step-by-step instructions, and we’ve even linked to some useful content. If you think we’ve missed anything out, or you have a great tip, then do let get in touch and let us know!

About

defencebyte provides sure-shot cybersecurity solutions to eliminate catastrophic cyber threats. Our cutting-edge and sophisticated endpoint protection software detects, prevents and responds to cyberattacks proficiently. With our wide-ranging security products, we at defencebyte offers robust security checks and incessant monitoring. In this way, we have introduced an extra layer of defense so that cyber threats stay at bay. All in all, Your System Protection Is Our Responsibility!

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