A ransomware attack, as the name states, is when a cybercriminal installs software to limit access to your computer, data, files, etc. or simply changes the password to login to your computer and charges you money to recover that data or access your computer.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and there have been many examples in the media about large companies being the target of a ransomware attack and ending up giving in and paying the ransom, in some cases, millions of dollars. Hospitals in California and Texas, the Colonial Pipeline even police departments have all been held hostage by ransomware attacks and had no choice to pay because they didn’t have a tight security and a good backup solution in place.
Ways to avoid having your data held for ransom
- Be aware. The individual person is still the largest security breach liability. It’s important to train your employees how to spot a threat like a corrupted site or malicious email. Security awareness training will help arm your employees with the knowledge of how to keep their data safe and not fall victim to an online attack.
- Know who is controlling your computer. It’s important to know who you are turning control of your computer over to. One of the largest individual ransomware scams out there today is when a scammer gains access to your computer and changes your computer’s password. They do this by posing as a tech support agent and asking the victim to turn over control of their PC to them. Then, they simply change the password to the computer and try to charge money for that password. Many people don’t know that by working with a qualified IT company like tca SynerTech, resetting their password can take mere minutes and scammers prey on the uninformed.
- Keep software up to date. It’s important to keep all software on your computer up to date including your antivirus and operating system. When opening an app, you haven’t used in a while make sure to check for updates and always install Windows updates asap.
- Backup your data. It’s important to backup all your data often as it is likely your last line of defense. If you do happen to fall prey to a ransomware attack, you will be able to restore your data quickly and without loss. There are many backup options available from hardware to the cloud and all can help in case a criminal does happen to gain access.
Make sure you know and trust your IT department as they can help you every step of the way through defending against ransomware to recovering from a successful attack. The team at tca SynerTech has nearly 25 years of experience protecting people and businesses from attacks and helping them recover if the worst does happen.