Ransomware is a type of malware that accesses a victim’s files, locks and encrypts them, and then demands the victim to pay a ransom to get them back. Cybercriminals use these attacks to get users to click on attachments or legitimate links that contain malicious code.
How It Happens
- Criminals can start a ransomware attack in a variety of ways
- Scam emails with links and attachments that put your data and network at risk. These phishing emails make up most ransomware attacks.
- Infected websites automatically download malicious software onto your computer.
- Online ads that contain malicious code — even on websites you know and trust.
Tips to avoid Ransomware
- Keep A Clean Machine
Keep the software on all Internet-connected devices up to date. All critical software, including computer and mobile operating systems, security software, and other frequently used programs and apps, should be running the most current versions. Turn on automatic updates in the security settings.
Protect your systems with security software. Install and keep security software (antivirus, antimalware & firewalls) on all internet-connected devices.
- Get Two Steps Ahead
Turn on two-step authentication – also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication – on accounts where available. Two-factor authentication can use anything from a text message to your phone to a token to a biometric like your fingerprint to provide enhanced account security.
- Back It Up
Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and
storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to Ransomware, you will be
able to restore the data from a backup.
- Use the 3-2-1 rule as a guide to backing up your data.
Keep at least three (3) copies of your data,
and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media,
with one (1) of them located offsite.
- Replace the Password With A Passphrase
Get a passphrase, instead, which is a sentence of at least 15 characters long. The longer, the better.
Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember.
- When In Doubt, Throw It Out
Links in email, social media posts, texts, and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal
your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
Don’t click on a link from a stranger. Employ an email scanning software that scans your
email for suspicious emails.
Restrict users’ permissions to install and run software applications
These users include children and other family members on home devices.