How to Prevent Ransomware in 5 Easy Steps

Ransomware is a threat just about every computer owner faces. Here’s our recommendations on how to prevent ransomware in just a few simple steps.

Ransomware attacks are growing at a frightening rate. The number of attacks in 2016 was 167 times more than in 2015.

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the files on a computer so that they’re impossible to use. The hacker then requests that a ransom is paid in order to decrypt the files again.

As you can imagine, losing access to all of your files can be devastating. The good news is that you can take steps to minimize the risk.

Read on as we look at how to prevent ransomware in five easy steps.

  1. Know Your Enemy

In order to beat ransomware, you need to keep up to date with the latest forms of attack and how to defend against them.

Think you already know all about ransomware? Take this quiz from Next-IT and you might be surprised. New forms of attack are being developed all the time, so you need to stay abreast of the latest information.

  1. Use Antivirus Software

Antivirus software can spot malware attacks and shield you from them. This includes ransomware attacks as well as other forms of malware.

You need to make sure you choose a good antivirus program that offers regular updates. This will ensure that you always have the most up-to-date protection.

  1. Beware of Attachments

One of the most common ways to end up with ransomware on your computer is by opening an email attachment that wasn’t what it seemed.

Instead of launching what you were expecting, it will install malware on your computer. That’s why you should never open an attachment unless you’re sure it’s safe. Many email clients will automatically scan attachments, but you should still use common sense; if you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open it.

  1. Use Strong Passwords

Another way that hackers can gain access to your computer is by breaking your passwords.

If you use something like 1234 or P455W0RD, then the chances are you’re going to get hacked before long. Hackers use software that can use techniques such as dictionary attacks or brute force attacks to try millions of combinations of words or letters and numbers until they find the right combination.

Using strong passwords that are very long and contain random letters, numbers, and special characters are far harder to crack using these methods. If you use a password manager, you don’t have to worry about remembering these complex passwords.

  1. Make Regular Backups

This last tip isn’t a method of preventing ransomware attacks, but rather a way to render them mostly harmless.

By using software to make regular automatic backups of your data, if your computer is hacked and encrypted, you can simply wipe your hard drive, and download your data from your backup. The hackers will no longer have any hold over you.

Now You Know How to Prevent Ransomware

Hopefully, these tips on how to prevent ransomware will keep you and your data safe.

Remember to always be vigilant, as new methods of attack are constantly being developed.

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