5 Key Steps I Should Take in Preventing Ransomware Attacks

1. Have a data restoration plan and secure data

Ransomware attacks can be costly, but to be safe you need to prepare as if it is going to happen today.  Preparation is key.  If and when you are getting ransomware threats, make sure to have your data stored in various different environments, like a hybrid infrastructure. A hybrid infrastructures centralized management also makes it easier to implement strong technical security measures such as encryption, automation, access control, orchestration, and endpoint security so you can manage risk effectively. 

2. Avoid clicking on unverified links

Never click on links in spam or from unfamiliar websites or emails.  Downloads that start when you click on malicious links is one way that your computer becomes infected. 

Once the ransomware is on your computer, it will encrypt your data and lock your operating system. Once the ransomware has data to hold as ‘hostage,’ it will demand a ransom payment.  Paying these ransoms may seem like an easy solution.  However, this is exactly what the attacker wants you to do and paying these ransoms does not guarantee they will give you access to your device or your data back.  It is an unfortunate risk you must take. But it is better to be safe than sorry. 

3. Do not open untrusted email attachments

Do not open email attachments from senders you do not know.  Look at who the email is from and confirm that the email address is correct. Be sure to assess whether an attachment looks authentic before opening it. If you are still unsure, contact the person you think has sent it and double check with them directly.  Look out for misspellings, messages that have strange context or requests, or the email address that does not match up to the company name.  Many of these emails may look like important messages from SAAS companies you may have subscription with or an “important or urgent” message from your bank.  They can even impersonate other contacts in your email list.  

4. Never give out your personal data 

If you receive a call, email, or text from an untrusted source that asks for personal information, never give it out.  This is happening more and more today with sophisticated messages. For example, hackers posing as a shipping company to verify packages, as more and more people are having in-home deliveries from Amazon or meal plan deliveries.  Sometimes, they come in the form of verifying your address, clicking links to confirm appointments, emails or texts saying your bank account may be closed if you do not verify your information. 

Cybercriminals planning a ransomware attack may try to gain personal data in advance of an attack. They can use this information in phishing emails to target you specifically.  

 5. Only download from sites you trust

Never download software or media files from unverified or non-trusted website.  Most reputable websites will have markers of trust that are recognizable.  Look in the search bar to see if the site uses ‘https’ instead of ‘http.’ A shield or lock symbol may also show in the address bar to verify that the site is secure.  

There are solutions to preventing these attacks.  For a free consultation, please call (305) 602-0707 

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