Ransomware is one of the biggest internet security threats of our time! Below are 5 tips on fighting back, but first let’s take a quick look at how Ransomware all started.
The History of Ransomware
It was 1989, and 5.25″ floppy disks were the primary way of transferring data! At a World Health Organization International Aids Conference attendees were given a floppy disk, what they thought was just documents also included the PS Cyborg Virus. The Virus locked their files and asked them to Mail $189 to a PO Box to have access to their data.
In 2006, the internet helped to proliferate this offensive act of ransomware. The big threats then were the Archiveus Trojan and GPCode virus, which were spread through email.
In 2011 the number of ransomware viruses was well over 60,000! And that number keeps growing. The estimate from security experts of ransomware viruses in 2016 is over 6 Million!!
5 Tips on Fighting Back
Luckily, there are some simple precautions that you can take to fight back against the proliferation of ransomware. Here are five for you to considering today:
- Beware of HTML Links in Emails. Be extra cautious about the links in an email, even if it is from someone you know. Instead of blindly trusting the link, it is better to enter the address into your browser manually or Google the topic yourself.
- Beware Email Attachments. Most email attachments from people you don’t know should be immediately deleted. You should also have a good Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware program running that scans your email attachments during download to prevent any problems.
- Malvertisements. These are Ads on the sides of webpages that often promise things that are too good to be true. There is no site that is immune to these malvertisements, and recently BBC.com saw a string of them on their site. We have an article on this which goes into more depth – it can be found here: Phishing Explained.
- Beware of Social Engineering. Be cautious to become with friends with people on Social Media that you don’t know (or have just recently met). One of the most successful ways hackers are able to get into people’s data is by befriending them and feeling out their comfort level with technology and their trust level. If they think you are a good candidate then they will exploit your kindness and infect you with a virus to obtain data or money.
- Have a great backup!! This is a simple solution to something that may be inevitable! In order to prevent having your data held ransom, have it backed up well – OFFSITE! The offsite part is very important, this will prevent the virus spreading to your backups.
We have a wonderful solution for backups that we call ShareSync. It is like a mixture of Dropbox and Carbonite. Not only does it back up your files, but it also gives you access to them anywhere you are (mobile apps too)! The cost for ShareSync is less than what you would pay for Carbonite and Dropbox. Contact us for more information!