When it comes to malicious software, ransomware is among the worst varieties. As the name suggests, this type of malware effectively takes control of your computer and refuses to return it to you until certain demands are met.
More often than not, these demands involve money – often in the form of gift cards or digital currencies. Needless to say, a ransomware attack can be absolutely devastating and result in extortion and the theft of personal information.
Luckily, despite being extremely frustrating to deal with, ransomware attacks are fairly easy to avoid. Anyone looking to keep their computer free of ransomware would do well to heed the following pointers.
Utilize Dedicated Security Software
Dedicated security software can be an invaluable weapon in the fight against ransomware. High-quality internet security software can effectively complement the efforts of your operating system’s built-in antivirus properties.
In addition to helping with ransomware removal, dependable security software can provide sweeping protection against a steadily-increasing assortment of viruses and other cyberthreats.
In your search for security software that’s perfectly suited to your needs, look for programs that cover an extensive range of threats, make regular updates available to users and provide easy access to technical support.
Only Download Software from Reliable Sources
Ransomware – and a bevy of other viruses – are commonly spread through infected software installation files. Fortunately, as long as you remain vigilant, you’ll never fall victim to this trick.
For starters, make sure to only download software from sources you know you can trust. This means never downloading from sites that trigger threat warnings from your security software, operating system or browser.
Furthermore, take care to avoid download links found in emails from unfamiliar sources. To provide yourself with additional peace of mind, use your dedicated security software and/or operating system to run a threat scan on any new installation files before proceeding to open them.
Keep All Software Up to Date
For first-rate protection against ransomware and other viruses, you’ll need to keep all of your software up to date.
This means installing updates for your operating system and apps as they become available as opposed to putting them on the backburner and allowing them to pile up.
These updates are often created for the purpose of patching security holes and other vulnerabilities, and the longer you put off installing them, the more susceptible to ransomware attacks your computer is likely to be.
It’s easy to see why many of us roll our eyes upon being greeted by update notifications. Installing certain updates can be cumbersome and pull us away from other tasks being performed on the computer.
Additionally, system updates often eat up a ton of memory, thereby making it impossible to do anything else while they’re being installed. However, as inconvenient as this can be, it behooves every security-conscious individual to install updates in a timely manner.
This may mean taking a break from what you’re doing, but it will ultimately make you safer and provide tremendous peace of mind. You can also save yourself the trouble of personally okaying every update installation by setting your operating system and assorted apps to update automatically.
Regularly Back Up Important Files
Since ransomware attacks can essentially make your computer inaccessible to you, it’s in your best interest to back up important files on a regular basis.
Whether you back these files up to the cloud, an external hard disk or both, make sure to do so every time adjustments are made to certain files or new files are added.
This way, even if a ransomware developer is able to take control of your PC, they’ll have very little leverage to work with.
Ransomware is the last type of malicious software you want to deal with. In addition to rendering your computer useless, a ransomware infection can result in the theft of personal information, financial documents and other valuable data.
A single ransomware infection has the power to turn your entire world topsy-turvy and irreparably compromise your cybersecurity.
So, whether you’ve been afflicted by ransomware in the past or have been lucky enough to avoid it, there’s no time like the present to start bolstering your digital defenses.