Ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent and dangerous, affecting both companies and individuals; this type of attack causes panic among users and can be lethal for your team.
You may wonder, How can I prevent ransomware attacks on my PC? This article will give you a practical security guide to avoid being a victim of cybercriminals.
What is ransomware?
It is extremely harmful software, designed to infect the computer and allow the cybercriminal to encrypt files so that the user does not have access to their information. Then, when the individual tries to access that information, they will be blocked and will see a pop-up window requesting a ransom payment for that information.
Cybercriminals then use ransomware attacks to hijack files from computers or mobile devices with the intention of requesting a ransom; Said ransom must be paid in a virtual currency such as PayPal or Bitcoins.
The ransomware disguises itself as a reliable file, program or system update to trick users into using or clicking it, once the user is tricked the ransomware enters the computer to lock the files and demand a ransom.
In the face of a ransomware attack, it is not advisable to pay the ransom, because if you pay it is likely that you will again be the victim of another attack, since you are showing the attacker that you are willing to pay and have the possibilities to do so; In addition, there are users who do not even recover their information after paying.
Types of ransomware:
There are several types of ransomware, but each one is extremely harmful and easily found on the web; it also has the same purpose to request a ransom from cybercriminals.
- Encryption or cryptographic: this is the most common type which is responsible for encrypting all the files on a device.
- Encryption and deletion: this is responsible for encrypting the files and gradually deleting them if the victim does not pay.
- Blocking: it is responsible for blocking the login, that is, you cannot access your computer in any way.
- Kidnapping or Doxware: it is responsible for stealing the user’s personal data and requesting a ransom to avoid making that information public.
- Scareware – This is fake software that claims to have discovered problems with your PC and asks for money to fix it.
Tips to prevent ransomware attacks on PC:
- Update your PC’s operating system frequently to avoid vulnerabilities. For this you can use the best tools and programs to update your pc software.
- Install antivirus on your PC and it is important to keep it updated. In this case it is also important that you orient yourself as to the best free and paid antivirus for the pc.
- Update the web browser you use frequently (Opera, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari).
- Never click on dubious links or open files from unknown sources.
- Never open emails from strangers or download any files they contain.
- When you use a web page make sure it has the HTTPS protocol enabled, if you don’t know what that is, check that the page has a green padlock symbol in the browser; This will guarantee that the page is secure.
- Make sure that your antivirus has Anti Ransom tools incorporated, since it is in charge of blocking the encryption process of a ransomware; If the antivirus does not have this tool, install one on your pc (Acronis Ransomware Protection, Bitdefender Anti-Ransomware or Avast). You can also avoid being a victim of Ransomware by using AntiRansom.
- Use anti spam filters.
- Download movies, music, software, applications, or programs from trusted sites.
- Do not provide personal data through calls or messages, because many cybercriminals try to contact their victims before the attack to obtain personal information.
- Clean the USB memory after using it on public computers.
- Be cautious when browsing the Internet and do not click OK if prior read.
- Stay informed about new types of ransomware attacks and what they are about.
- Make regular backup copies of the files on your PC and if it is in a cloud your documents will be better protected.
Remember that it is important to carry out a good combination of measures to protect your equipment; for example, update your operating system, use an antivirus, anti-ransomware, make a backup and use common sense when browsing the Internet, that way you will be well protected against those malicious ransomware that abound on the web.