In the new age of digital attacks, cybercriminals never rest. It is important to stay apprised of all forms of malicious activity so you can combat it before it even happens. Today we are going to focus on an especially harmful malware: ransomware.

Ransomware is exactly as it sounds: a cybercriminal kidnaps a system by infecting it with malware and cuts off the owner’s access until they pay a sum of money. If this happens to you, the FBI recommends not paying the ransom because there is no guarantee the attacker will give the owner access.

Here are a few ways to avoid falling victim in the first place:

  • Be cautious when downloading anything. Whether it is an email attachment or software, only download it to your device if you can verify its authenticity. Don’t open emails from unknown senders, and don’t download software (especially free software) unless you trust the source.
  • Back up data and secure your backups. Relying on your backups may be the only way to recover data in a ransomware situation. Make sure these backups are not in any way connected to your primary device so that they are not breached as well. If you are a business it is important to have a professional IT company monitor your backups and security.
  • Update anti-virus and other software. Cybercriminals are experts at finding new vulnerabilities in anti-virus and anti-malware software, as well as programs like Adobe Flash, Java, etc. Always update and upgrade so you have the most current version and make sure security software is programmed to run scans regularly.
  • Implement the principle of least privilege. Reduce risks by securing administrative accounts so that only a few users may access these accounts when absolutely necessary. It is safer if users operate within their standard accounts for the majority of the time.

Like all cyberattacks, ransomware is nerve-racking and detrimental to operating systems. If you are a business, we cannot emphasize how important it is to have a professional IT company monitor your backups and security to better safeguard your system. Give us a call at 970-419-0602 with any questions or for more information.

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