WAYS TO WARD OFF RANSOMWARE
Ransomware is a computer virus that kidnaps your system and holds your data hostage until you pay a ransom to the cybercriminals. The malware encrypts data on workstations, networks, mobile devices and even files stored in the cloud.
Ransomware was recently in the news with the WannaCry attacks, which targeted computers that used Microsoft Windows and demanded ransom payments using bitcoins.
Do you know how to defend your systems in case of such an attack?
Compared to typical data breaches, ransomware scams have a quicker, less complicated payoff and are difficult to detect. Recently, the malware has been bundled with password-stealing technology to take advantage of weak security.
Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly profitable for perpetrators. Ransom demands can run from $500 to thousands of dollars.
Many victims decide to pay the cybercriminals to avoid the costly downtime and recovery, as well as possible legal ramifications. However, IT experts recommend against victims paying the ransom.
Payment encourages scammers to attack again and find new victims. Also, there is no guarantee the data will be released or the attackers haven’t kept a foothold in the systems they’ve compromised.
Even when victims don’t pay a ransom, they have to pay in other ways. Often they will have to pay an IT vendor to restore their computer, device or network.
Follow these tips to help reduce ransomware attacks:
- Back up your data regularly.
- Always apply the latest security patches to remove known vulnerabilities.
- Keep firewalls on and properly configured.
- Run real-time anti-malware and anti-virus software and keep them up-to-date.
- Be wary of suspicious emails and do not open attachments or click links from untrusted sources.
Ways to Protect Your ID
Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and Privacy Laws we are required to ensure the confidentiality of a consumer’s information. Here are ways a consumer can protect their ID’s from theft:
- Monitor credit annually
- Use a P.O. Box
- Opt-out of junk mail / internal marketing lists / offers of credit
- https://dmachoice.org OR https://www.optoutprescreen.com
- Enroll in the “DO NOT CALL” registry with FTC
(Federal Trade Commission); it’s FREE!
- Register online: www.donotcall.gov
- 888)382-1222 / TTY (866)290-4236