How to Keep Yourself Safe from Ransomware

Everyone knows about the ransomware making world headlines, but do you know how to protect yourself from such an attack?


Everyone by now knows of the ransomware making headlines after hackers tricked users into installing it onto their computers across the world.

Keeping this in mind, there are many ways by which not only businesses but also individuals can keep themselves safe from ransomware and other malicious programs.

Updates, Updates, Updates

Screenshot for the Windows update options.

Cyber security experts analysing this attack said the ransomware ‘WannaCry’ might have entered the systems via an attachment sent through an email. Once it enters the machine, the malicious code distributes itself to other machines connected to a network by taking advantage of the Windows file-sharing system.

Windows users can protect themselves simply by configuring their machines to automatic updates.

A Simple Anti-Virus Software

Prompts from different antiviruses detecting ransomware.

In addition to the automatic update setting, you should also enhance your security by installing an antivirus. Many antiviruses can detect and stop a malicious threat from doing further harm to your system.

Once you install the antivirus, keep them up to date so the latest malware can be detected. Make sure you download antiviruses from reputable companies, and if you can afford a paid version, then there is nothing better.

Don’t Click on It!

Different pop-ups clustering on the user’s screen.

Simply put: do not click on emails or pop-ups that are unfamiliar to you. This is how the ransomware spread.

To spot a fake email address look at it carefully and check to see if it is coming from a person you know. Also, make sure to look for typos. Official emails generally don’t have them.

And if you are getting emails from your banks or other companies asking for your personal information, don’t give it via the email. Be safe. Always call them on their official number to confirm.

Many hackers use pop-ups as a means to trick the user into clicking on them so the ransomware can install. They might use advertisements saying your computer is infected. Never click on them.

Backing Up Your Information

Security experts believe that one should always back up their data even if they don’t find it important. Always keep your data backup in an external hard-drive or a USB with large capacity. This will allow you to format your machine without a problem, giving you your data back.

To be extra cautious about your information and hackers, when backing up your files, encrypt them, unplug it from your system and keep it somewhere safe.

What If You Already Have It?

A screenshot of WannaCry Ransomware.

For those of you that have the ransomware infecting your systems, disconnect your system from the internet. Report it to the authorities, and then seek professional help from the company where you bought your machine. There are many tools to recover data, but there is always the chance that some files are lost forever.

However, if the information locked by the ransomware is extremely valuable, it may encourage you to pay for the key. It is recommended that you don’t pay at all – specifically for the WannaCry ransomware. Many people have, even after they’ve paid, not received a response back from the hackers.

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  1. I thought the article was going to point out how important it is to have external drive copies of data, as well as either an online backup or a 3rd physical backup stored off of the premises? You might also recommend a full system image which could have you up & running again in minutes.

    With that in place, ransomware is only an inconvenience.



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