Best Ways to Avoid Ransomware Issues on Your Computer
Ransomware is a threat to many computers today, and businesses are a particular target of these malicious programs. Because it is designed to lock down a computer until the owner pays a ransom to get a key to unlock information, ransomware can cost companies millions of dollars and lost revenue if sensitive information is lost. Because this threat is very real, internet security is of the utmost importance. Having the right internet security to prevent data breaches and other security threats, as well as ransomware protection, must be a high priority for every company.
What Is Ransomware?Ransomware is a malware program that installs itself on a computer, then proceeds to lock files and make them inaccessible. Malware can be obtained from an email attachment, a website link, downloaded media, or by accessing certain websites. Once installed, this malware may affect a few files on a system, or the entire computer. The only way to unlock the files is to pay a fee to the malware creator to receive an unlock key.
Unfortunately, the fees are often too exorbitant for some companies to pay. In addition, companies may pay these fees and never get their files unlocked. Ransomware often targets critical businesses data. Because ransomware is notoriously difficult to remove, many companies just pay the ransom to regain locked information.
Value of Safe Internet HabitsTo prevent losing critical business information from ransomware attacks, companies must practice safe internet habits by teaching proper internet practices to all employees. The following internet security procedures should then be established as company policy to prevent accidentally downloading malware:
- Avoid Spam Email – Usually recognizable, spam email should be deleted without being opened. If there is a question about the validity of an email, have it scanned first for malware. Most email services provide this ability, as do computer security websites designed to block malicious files from being downloaded.
- Avoid Non-Secured or Suspicious Sites – If a warning message that a website contains a potential threat is received, close out of that site. Malware may also be delivered through websites that offer free streaming music, video, or other free programs. Avoid such sites altogether and instead select legitimate, reputable sites for desired media or information.
- Avoid Suspicious Download Prompts – Never download an unrecognized program, or click to update an existing program without knowing exactly what it is. Because many malware programs present themselves as files to update well-known and trusted programs, it is important to recognize the difference. With properly managed IT services, any required updates or similar downloads would be performed by IT personnel, which means that any prompts for updates are likely fraudulent.
Install Internet Security ProtectionPreventing attacks from ransomware also involves having the right internet security protection installed on any business network, as well as the right IT services. Frequent data backups and disaster recovery planning are essential should one of these programs manage to install itself on a company’s network and cause problems. With the right IT plan, recovery from a malware attack to a network can happen more quickly because critical data has been backed-up off premises on separate servers. The system can then be restored with little loss of data and no payment of any ransom demands.
The stakes are high when business IT systems are infected with ransomware. To avoid the costly, and the sometimes devastating complications these malicious programs can cause, companies must take internet security very seriously. The best ransomware protection involves the use of smart internet practices, ransomware protection, and the best business IT services to help in case the worst should happen!