Ransomware Prevention: Why is It Important?
- Tags: Ransomware
Although kidnapping and ransoming is quite a common theme in Hollywood movies, its real life counterpart is a horrifying experience in its own. You might live in a peaceful town with low crime rate, but that still doesn’t mean that you are safe from prying eyes. We certainly do not want to make you paranoid, but this new threat definitely needs some attention and understanding.
What’s the Threat?
We’re talking about the latest strain of internet malware and virus, aptly named ‘Ransomware’ a.k.a. ‘Crypto-Virus’. As both names suggest, the malware is programmed to enter a user’s computer and encrypt its contents so it cannot be accessed by the user. The contents are then held for a ransom that if unpaid, leads to complete loss of data.
What Makes It So Dangerous?
Other viruses of its kind such as the screen locker malware or fake antiviruses might annoy you by locking your screen, or by too many fake notifications. But most these can be removed from your system with minimal damage to your data and files. Ransomware on the other hand is simply built to coerce users into meeting their demands and goes far more conniving lengths to ensure that.
- Once this virus enters your system, there is literally no way to stop it from encrypting your files. The encryption process is run in the background so most users are entirely unaware of its activity.
- Most ransomware are notorious for using AES grade encryption, so there is no conventional way of decrypting your data other than the ‘key’ held by the hijackers.
- As there’s no other way to obtain the key than paying a ransom, users are forced to kneel to the hackers’ demands and make the payment.
- Even if the malware is somehow removed from your computer, the data remains encrypted nonetheless.
- With the ‘Internet of Things’, your computer’s data could also contain your personal information and access to bank accounts etc., making this virus even more dangerous.
How It Enters Your System?
Like most of its cousins the ransomware virus enters a user’s computer through spam emails, infected document files, disguised hyperlinks, infected zipped attachments in emails and infected webpages. Therefore, it is extremely important that users must setup a proper ransomware protection in place as there is no remedy for this infection as of now.
How to Prevent Ransomware Infection?
Once this rabid monster is unleashed upon your computer, there is no way to stop it from tearing your data apart. Hence, prevention is the best protection against this monstrosity. Fortunately, there are several ways of protecting your data from such malicious viruses.
Antivirus and Internet Security – There’s no way such programs could’ve entered your system if you had a proper internet security along with a reliable antivirus software. Investing in virus and cyber protection will certainly prevent any suspicious files or documents from being downloaded on your system. A VPN (virtual private network) will also come in handy to keep your internet activity cloaked from any spyware and hackers.
Create Backup – Backup all your important file to an external location such as a portable HDD or cloud, you would always have access to your data. So even if your computer is infected by a crypto virus, you can always format the hard drive and do a clean install. You can recover all your important files directly from the backup without having to worry about paying a ransom.
There is nothing fake or funny about Ransomware and internet users must consider this as a real threat to cybersecurity. Giving in to the hackers’ demands and paying a ransom isn’t a solution as you’re only helping them become stronger and more confidant in their operations. Therefore, it is best to get yourself educated and employ proper measures to counter this imminent hazard to your computer and data.