If you keep up with tech news, there's no doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about ransomware. In a nutshell, ransomware is a type of malicious computer virus – or malware – that is spread by cybercriminals. Ransomware encrypts your data, essentially holding your computer hostage, until you pay a “ransom.” The good news is that if your files are properly backed up, you won’t need to pay the ransom.
Ransomware is a major problem for both home and business users. If you’re not using backup software and your computer becomes infected with ransomware, it can be very difficult or impossible to recover your data. Remember, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your data back by paying the ransom. These are criminals, after all.
While backing up your software is a great insurance policy, there are additional steps you can take to avoid becoming infected with ransomware in the first place. Here are three quick tips:
1. Make sure you have installed an up-to-date anti-malware or anti-virus tool
Anti-malware tools like Malwarebytes or McAfee Anti-Malware are an important part of your computer’s security system. Make sure that you have one installed and are running the most current version on your computer.
2. Scan attachments
Most malware tools give you the ability to scan any emails or attachments before opening them. Emails and email attachments should be scanned before for malware before you open them – especially if they’re coming from an unknown sender.
3. Ask before you open
If you’re not sure about an email attachment or link in an email, send a quick note to the person who sent it and ask them if it is legitimate. If the person doesn’t respond or gives you a cryptic answer, do not open it.
For more helpful information, download your free ransomware preparedness guide today.