One of the worst things that can happen to your computer is the infection of ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware that can install itself and then encrypt your files, rendering them useless unless you “pay” the ransom.
The thing is, if you have adequate offline or offsite backups you will not suffer in the wake of a ransomware attack. Simply remove the virus or format your system, replace the files, and be on your way.
However many people do not properly back up their data, thus allowing ransomware to take full advantage of them. Some of the most prolific and infamous ransomware programs out there “FBI” ransomware, CryptoLocker, CrytpoWall, TeslaCrypt, and more. Those are just a few as recent reports suggest that ransomware is quickly multiplying based on the success of CrytpoLocker.
BitDefender labs has put out a CryptoWall vaccine that prevents encryption attempts by ransomware that is built on the same architecture as CryptoWall and CryptoLocker. I’d highly recommend installing this software (it’s free after all) just to save yourself the headache if a ransomware happens to sneak by your defenses.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from the bad effects of ransomware in the first place:
- Setup a good antivirus software. Norton 360 is a good one. Ensure that it runs constantly in the background.
- Add a malware removal software tool to the mix such as Spyhunter
- Avoid browsing internet bad neighborhoods such as adult and gambling sites
- Always ensure that you back up your data to offsite or offline locations. That means disconnecting the hard drive that you back up to since malware can access files on hard drives that are always connected.
- Install the free “vaccine” software that is available
- Don’t download random attachments that you don’t recognize.
- Keep up on security threats from security blogs such as We Hate Malware and Cisco.