What You Need to Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to digital security that we face today.  Ransomware takes your data and encrypts and then charges you a “ransom” to have your personal files returned to you.  If you own a business not only is this a threat to your proprietary documents but it can threaten your customer’s personal information as well.  Here is what you need to know about ransomware.

What You Need to Know About Ransomware

Ransomware affects mobile too

You have probably heard about ransomware attacks on servers and personal computers but it also presents a risk to mobile phones and tablets as well.  Remember that the operating systems like Android that power your phone also power smart TVs and that is what is at risk.  There was actually one incident of ransomware locking out a TV and demanding $200 in iTunes gift cards to return the system.

Backups get hacked too

Most people think that if you also store your data in a separate location that you will be safe, unfortunately that is not always the case.  The hackers who develop ransomware are aware of this and have the capability of locking your backups too until the ransom is paid.  It can also encrypt your backups and disk drives.  Businesses that use SQL databases, which is almost all of them are particularly vulnerable.

Having a Mac won’t help

One of the things that makes ransomware so dangerous is that it can affect Mac and Linux too.  The idea that Mac’s don’t get viruses is no longer true and now there are more and more viruses targeted Mac and Linux based operating systems.

It looks like real software

In the beginning ransomware came onto your computer by way of an email attachment, but that isn’t the case anymore.  Hackers have gotten much better when it comes to delivering viruses onto your system.  Even government agencies have fallen victim to ransomware attacks and they have sophisticated network security in place.  Often ransomware is hidden in real applications and games.  It is disguised as something you would use like an “update” so that you will freely install it.  Here is how you avoid it.

How do you prevent it?

Protecting your system, especially if you run a business, against ransomware is crucial. All of your devices are at risk regardless of the backups in place or the operating system that you are using. How can you protect yourself? To start with keep your operating system up to date, updates help fix security vulnerabilities. Keep an eye out for suspicious files and don’t accept updates unless you get them from the software website. Use mail filtering to scan for malicious code in email attachments. Lastly get yourself some decent internet security to protect your systems. While no system is foolproof you can protect yourself and your personal information as much as possible.

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