There is no single silver bullet that will protect against all ransomware attacks, but there are a number of steps that organizations can take to reduce their risk. Below are 10 recommendations for preventing ransomware:
1. Keep your operating system and software up to date
One of the best ways to protect against ransomware is to ensure that your operating system and software are up to date. Attackers often target vulnerabilities that have been patched in the latest versions of software. By keeping your systems up to date, you can close these potential security gaps.
2. Use a reputable antivirus program
Another way to protect against ransomware is to use a reputable antivirus program. Antivirus programs can detect and block many types of malware, including ransomware. Be sure to keep your antivirus program up to date, as attackers are constantly releasing new strains of ransomware.
3. Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders
One of the most common ways that ransomware is spread is through email attachments. Attackers will send email messages with malicious attachments that, when opened, will install ransomware on your computer. It’s important to be cautious when opening email attachments, even if you know the sender. If you’re unsure about an attachment, contact the sender to verify that it’s safe before opening it.
4. Don’t click on links in email messages from unknown senders
In addition to email attachments, attackers will also send email messages with malicious links. These links, when clicked, will take you to a website that will try to install ransomware on your computer. As with email attachments, it’s important to be cautious when clicking on links in email messages. If you’re unsure about a link, contact the sender to verify that it’s safe before clicking it.
5. Avoid websites that are known to be malicious
There are many websites that are known to be malicious and should be avoided. These websites are known to host malware, including ransomware. If you accidentally visit one of these websites, your computer could be infected with ransomware.
6. Install a popup blocker
Many ransomware attacks are delivered through pop-up windows. By installing a popup blocker, you can help block these malicious pop-up windows from appearing.
7. Use caution when downloading files from the internet
Another way that ransomware can be delivered is through downloads from the internet. Be sure to only download files from websites that you trust. If you’re unsure about a website, do a quick search to see if others have reported it as being malicious.
8. Use strong passwords
Another important step in protecting against ransomware is to use strong passwords. Ransomware attackers will often try to brute force their way into your account by guessing common passwords. By using strong passwords, you can make it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to your account.
9. Use two-factor authentication
If available, you should enable two-factor authentication for your online accounts. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to your phone in addition to your password. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.
10. Back up your data
One of the most important steps you can take to protect against ransomware is to back up your data. Ransomware attackers will often threaten to delete your data if you don’t pay the ransom. By having a backup of your data, you can restores your files even if they are deleted by the attacker.