Every year, new malware, spyware and computer viruses popup to wreak havoc on internet-technology departments for businesses of all kinds. Ransomware is the latest malware example in a long line of attempts by hackers to compromise your sensitive information, extract money and potentially much more from its unsuspecting victims.

In just the past year, Ransomware grew from a small pest in select countries to an international major problem, so it’s important to protect yourself and your company before it’s too late. Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts and in some cases denies access to the victim’s computer systems in some way. Some forms of ransomware lock the system, while others encrypt files on the computers’ hard drives. Information on your company’s computers then becomes very difficult to retrieve without the encryption key.

The hackers who developed the ransomware that infiltrate your computer systems then proceed to extort you or your company into paying money or funds of some kind (hence the term “ransom”) so you can regain access to your files.

The hackers usually make their ransom attempt by tricking the user into clicking an infected popup or by visiting an infected site. They hold your data hostage with the hopes of receiving payment from you. Some go as far as threatening to delete your information if they don’t receive payment in an allotted time frame. Ransomware victims may be asked to make payments through wire transfer, online cash or premium text message.

Now that you know what ransomware is and how it can affect you, it’s time to learn how to prevent it.

Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Ransomware

Like many other threats to your company’s computer software or hardware programs, there are a few steps you can take to avoid ransomware. Many experts advise the following precautionary measures for protection against an attack:

  1. Use a reputable antivirus and firewall software. This is an important first step to protecting your sensitive information from ransomware. Using software like McAfee and Norton is your first line of defense, as they will alert you when a site may not be safe before you click on it.
  2. Enable a popup blocker. This decreases the likelihood of you or someone with access to your computer from clicking on an infected link. It also saves you the hassle of having to exit out of all those pesky popups.
  3. Backup your data often. Make a habit of backing-up your data on a regular basis in case a file is lost or accidentally deleted. Be especially diligent about file backups with important or sensitive information.
  4. Only download email attachments from trusted sources. As a rule of thumb, if you aren’t sure about the sender’s trustworthiness, do not open the attachment.

Netdigix offers Metro Vancouver computer support and IT network support to secure your computer systems from malware and viruses. Whether you are unsure about the security status of your company’s computer system and IT infrastructure, or if you want to enact special security precautions against particularly dangerous malware and spyware, contact our computer-security professionals today for a hassle-free, no-obligation assessment of your technical-support needs.

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