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How to Protect Your System from Ransomware

Updated on May 26, 2017
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With WannaCry, ransomware is back in action again. The threat has been spread around the world infecting thousands of systems making them crawl. Ransomware typically is a real-time threat which works based on Cryptovirology spreading cryptoviral extortion attacks that block users to access to data until a ransom is paid. Whenever it attacks your system it displays a ransom message on your system asking for the ransom to be paid to get access to data again. It has been in existence for decades but the threat is now bigger and more dangerous.

Types of Ransomware

Encryptors: It incorporates latest encryption algorithms to block access to system files and ask for payment (ransom) from the user to provide a key that can decrypt the blocked data. Locky, CryptoLocker, and CryptoWall are the examples of this type of Ransomware.

Lockers: It typically locks the victim out of the system operating system, making it hard or sometimes impossible to access the system (desktop) or any apps or files. Here, it doesn’t encrypt files, but it still asks for the ransom to unlock the infected system. WinLocker, Police-themed ransomware are the examples of this threat.

There are primarily two types of Ransomware still there are few versions which infect system’s Master Boot Record (MBR), which makes it hard to boot the system normally. It further asks for a ransom to get rid of the problem. Here, MBR is a section of a computer’s hard drive that enables the OS to boot up. Petya and Satana are the examples of this ransomware threat.

How to protect system from Ransomware

Install a reputable security suite: This is the most basic step to keep your system protected from any malware threat. Install reputable anti-malware program along with software Firewall to provide dual protection to your system from virus or ransomware threats. Firewall and anti-malware program go together to safeguard your system and other computers on the network. Where anti-malware detects any virus running on the system, the firewall blocks malicious connections from breaching your system security.

Apart of it, there come new variants of malware with latest updates to avoid detection, thus it may get past your anti-malware program. In that case, firewall proves the second line of defense to protect your system. You can try using reliable ransomware protection tool to avoid ransomware threats effectively.

Update system software: This is the pre-requisite to keep your system safe from any virus threat. Each system update comes with certain security patches, bug fixes, and other improvements. If you are running older version operating system or anti-malware program, there remain higher chances that your system get infected instantly. Thus, keeping your system software updated can avert many recent threats to your system.

Set System Restore Point: By enabling System restore Points on your system can avert chance of data loss significantly. It helps you go to back to the previous known-clean state when your system gets infected with malware or ransomware. It helps you recover your precious data. Many recent malware versions are affecting the “Shadow” files of the system from restore points, it means you need to be very quick while recovering data to previous known safe state.

Avoid suspicious links: This is more of a behavior change. Try to avoid suspicious email links and downloading from unknown sources. Most virus attacks are happened via malicious email links and using social engineering tactics, thus it becomes important to be vigilant while clicking on any unknown or suspicious links.

Backup your data: This is the remedy to all problems related to the digital world. Keep your data backed up using different sources. Try to keep data backup on external drives, flash drives, on cloud servers or using another medium. It will help you regain your important data in case your system gets affected and you lose your data.

Following these simple steps, you can prevent your system from any ransomware threat effectively. It can also avert a situation like data loss. Apart from these useful steps, you can look for many other tips as well like disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) on your system, disabling Macro, disconnecting network when infected, avoiding .exe attachments, consulting experts etc. to protect your system.

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