Last week, my sister banged into my room, extremely stressed and exclaimed:
“My computer screen is displaying a note, claiming that all my files have been locked. ‘Your files have been encrypted’ reads the message on the dialogue box. To get the decryption key, I have to pay a ransom of $500 in 48 hours for ransomware removal. The amount would double after that. If I still fail to pay the stipulated amount, all my files will be deleted forever!”
She felt devastated and miserable and I deeply wished I could do something to help her at that moment.
This is just one example of how ransomware, out of the blue, attacks your system, blocking access to all your data. Ransomware removal is not a trivial task.
Ransomware attacks have been tremendously growing over the last few years, with the epidemic targeting everyone from hospitals to police stations and big corporate businesses. Such a lucrative business has turned out to be for cybercriminals, that they do not spare anyone, not even small companies, let alone private individuals.
There is, therefore, no reason for any person to believe that their gadgets are secure from a ransomware attack. It’s imperative to have prevention strategies in place to protect oneself from the attack.
Unfortunately, many people around us do not take the threat seriously, unless they’re affected by it. It’s essential to inform your friends and family of the possible threat and its consequences. In this article, we are going to explore a few ways which can protect your families from possible losses caused by the malware.
The most crucial element is back up! Stress the need for making up secure backup files to everyone around you. Backing up all the data frequently is the best defense against the attack. It reduces the user’s vulnerability, and he can still access his files and documents if attacked by Ransomware. This means he would not be forced to pay hefty amounts as a ransom for ransomware removal.
Explain your family members about the imperativeness of having updated security software. Many people tend to take this casually and ignore the severity of the threat. Force them to install anti-virus programs. Security software will help to infiltrate any malware that might be detected while opening an email or downloading a file and prevent it from being downloaded on the system.
Similarly, it is essential to keep all your operating software and systems updated. This ensures that your device is equipped with the latest security parameters to mitigate the chances of an attack.
Many people around us are naive and unaware of the possible threats an email carries in the form of malicious attachments and links, which might download the malware on the system and activate it. It is hence, fundamental to explain to them the possible effects of opening a suspicious email. Do not respond to emails from any unreliable or unknown sources!
Likewise, inform them about the importance of downloading content such as applications, software, or movies from a verified and authentic website. This is especially pertinent to children as they are most attracted by free versions, and they may visit unreliable webpages, therefore causing the malware to be downloaded on the system along with the program. Strictly warn them about the conceivable threat they may be inviting.
Moreover, it is vital not to share any personal information online. This is a frequently used trick by cybercriminals. They try to befriend the victim and gain their trust, leading them to reveal their personal and private information, paving way for them to access their data and encrypt it. Everyone around you should be made aware of this scam, explaining to them the fact that everything that appears legitimate may not be so.
Make sure to notify your friends and family of the plausible threats of ransomware and the crucial preventative measures from the malicious software, otherwise, they’ll have to face devastating consequences.