What I, out of the blue, the files on your laptop or computer become unusable? Every photo, music file, video, and financial documents, gone. How did that happen and what did you do to deserve that? Well, it is safe to say – welcome to the ransomware world. If you do not think twice about opening an email with an attachment or clicking a link in an email, you are a perfect target for a ransomware attack. In this article, you will be able to learn what is ransomware, as well as how to avoid it. Let’s take a look:
What is Ransomware?
As the name states, ransomware is intended to force to a payment (or ransom) by the person who is a victim of the attack. The attacker can use a wide range of methods – some of them mentioned above – to load ransomware on the victim’s computer or laptop. Usually, it will be “lock” or encrypt the files on the devices, hence, they cannot be accessed or used. The attacker will usually implement a message as a part of their attack, asking the victim for a fee to unlock the files. However, you should keep in mind that the payment does not guarantee that the files will be unlocked and in fact, if the victims show a willingness to pay the initial payment, the attacker might ask for an additional payment.
How Does Someone Stage a Ransomware Attack?
People who want to infect someone’s PC have a wide range of methods of doing so. One interesting fact about these tactics is that as long as they continue working, there is no reason to change them. And the more you know about the methods, the more you can do to protect your data. To succeed in a ransomware attack, the attacker needs to put the malware on the PC and have someone open, run, and execute it. One of the common ways is to put it in an email. You open the email, read it and then click on the attachment in it. Once you have opened it, it moves from the email onto your computer. Another common way is to include a link in the message and hoping that you click on it and in these cases, the link will take you to a website that will download the ransomware to your PC.
How to Help Avoid An Email Ransomware Attack
According to the experts from NOVA Computer Solutions, you should never open an email attachment or click on a link in the email unless you are 100 percent sure that it is from a safe source. Hacker can make emails look like it is from someone you know, hence, you will likely want to take action and click on it. However, if you were not expecting the email, it makes sense to double-check to ensure that it is legitimate.
How to Avoid a Ransomware Attack
There are various things that you can do to minimize the risk and here are a couple of recommendations to consider
- When it comes to an email, think twice, even if the message does look authentic. If you get an email with a link or attachment that you did not request or that you were not expecting, stop and think before you open it. A simple click can lead to an expensive disaster.
- Make sure that you have an OS that the manufacturer supports. Hence, you will know the company is making updates and patches that will additionally keep you protected. Also, make sure that you frequently update the patches and OS.
- Simply back it up. You have a lot of information on your data, hence, it makes sense to have a backup copy of the files. Even without an attack, your PC might simply stop working.
As you can see, a ransomware attack can lead to you losing money, as well as data. Hence, make sure that your PC is well protected, as well as that you do not open suspicious emails from sources that are not trusted.