The Best Ways to Avoid Ransomware (and How to Recover If Effectively)

Are you worried that your device may fall victim to ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that keeps you from accessing your personal files or computer system. Once ransomware hits your computers, the hackers will demand a ransom payment. They will demand this payment in exchange for access to your files and system.

Ransomware also ranks second in the list of malware attacks hackers frequently use. You’ll need to protect yourself from this if you want to avoid getting your data compromised.

But how do you do so? What should you do if become a victim of ransomware?

Continue reading below for some of the best ways to avoid ransomware.

1. Think Before You Click

Though people often use the “think before you click” catchphrase on sharing stuff on social media, you can also apply it to your anti-ransomware efforts. Avoid clicking attachments in your emails especially if they are in your spam email.

One of the most common points of entry of ransomware is through file attachments. If you click a link that has ransomware, it opens up the door for the virus. Once it enters your computer, it will start locking your operating system.

Sometimes, ransomware encrypts your data. Thus, think before clicking any attachments especially if they come from unknown senders.

Look at the details of the email sender and confirm if it is correct. Assess the attachment and see if it is genuine. Also, avoid opening attachments requesting you to enable macros.

2. Mind Your Downloads

Aside from email attachments, ransomware can also disguise as software and media files. If you wish to download software, do so using the proper channels.

This means downloading from official or trusted websites. Avoid downloading updates from pop-up screens that appear out of nowhere.

Furthermore, check the websites and examine the search bar. Does it use “https” instead of “HTTP”? If so, then the site should be safe. Also, look for a lock or shield symbol in the address bar.

The symbol means the site is secure. Look for it before you take files from the website to add to your device.

3. Safeguard Your Personal Information

If you want to avoid ransomware, you also need to practice vigilance when sharing your personal information with anyone. Whenever you receive emails, SMS, or phone calls asking for your personal information, don’t give it out so easily.

Before hackers can launch their ransomware attack, they will try to obtain your personal information. From there, they will use the information to send out their phishing emails.

Phishers will look to fool you or your employees into installing malware. They can also pretend to be part of the IT department to gain your trust. Hence, if you receive anything suspicious asking for your personal information, call your IT head immediately.

On average, hackers ask $5,900 from their victims in exchange for their valuable data.

4. Use Content Scanning, Filtering, and VPN

Another way of preventing ransomware and malware from infecting your computers is by using content scanning and filtering. You will apply these on your mail servers to help filter spam emails.

They keep spam from entering your inbox. As we mentioned earlier, most of these malware viruses come from spam emails.

If you need to work outside when meeting clients, make sure to use a VPN whenever you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi. When using public Wi-Fi, your laptop becomes susceptible to all sorts of cyber-attacks.

If you can avoid using public Wi-Fi, do so. If not, use a secure VPN especially if you’re working on confidential transactions.

5. Backup! Backup! Backup!

You also need to develop the habit of backing up your valuable data. This will ensure that you get to keep copies of your data even if ransomware infects your computers.

Invest in a reliable external hard drive and copy everything to it. However, make sure not to leave it connected to your computer when not in use.

This is crucial since ransomware can also lock your external drive if it infects your computer with the drive still plugged-in.

Alternatively, you can secure your data using cloud storage solutions. The good thing about cloud storage is that you can revert to older and unencrypted copies of your data. You can do so even if ransomware infects all your computers.

6. Update Your OS and Software

Apart from backing up your data, you need to update your software and operating system (OS). You need to keep your computers running the latest security patches.

Keep in mind that cybercriminals are smart. They try to keep in step with the latest data security solutions. By updating your OS and software, you can stay ahead of hackers.

7. Beef Up Your Antivirus Software

If you don’t have any antivirus software in place, you need to invest in one, ASAP. Find dependable antivirus software against ransomware, malware, spyware, and Trojan viruses.

And in case the virus is already in your computer system, it is best to contact a professional who specializes in virus removal.

Recovering Your Files

Another important aspect to discuss is recovering your files after a ransomware attack. There are a few ways of doing so. First, you can get a data recovery system.

Another is by restoring previous versions of your data. Go to the directory where you stored the data. Right-click the file then hit “Properties.” Select “Previous Versions” once you see the Properties window appear.

You will then see snapshots of the file. Click “View” to confirm if that is the correct version. From there, you can view, copy, or restore the file.

The last option is through the Automatic Windows Backup. If you enabled this early on, it can save your data if the recovery program doesn’t work.

Hit the Control Panel and select “System and Recovery.” Pick “Backup and “Restore” then select “Restore files from backup.”

Complete the process by selecting “Restore my files.”

Avoid Ransomware and Other Viruses, Today!

By following the tips above, you can avoid ransomware and protect your device against all sorts of hackers. But vigilance should work hand-in-hand with a top-notch security system in place.

And if the virus reaches your computers, we can help remove them, ASAP. Connect with us and learn more about our virus prevention and removal services. Let’s start securing your computers, today!