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9 ways to secure your PC against a ransomware attack

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  • 6 min read

Your data is one of the most important assets in this world where information is one of the most crucial aspects to any business and most of it is either on the internet or on a system that is connected with it. Hackers take advantage of how you or your organisation relies on it. The data that is lost can result in a standstill in business.

Hackers realise this and carry out ransomware attacks to retrieve your data and then make it unavailable to you in exchange for a ransom. You know you are a victim of a ransomware attack if your device displays a ransom note.

If you don’t pay the ransom, your data is lost forever, and you can suffer great setbacks either in business or person life. Here we include nine ways so that you could avoid getting attacked by ransomware and stay protected.

Also read: How to become an ethical hacker? A concise guide

Take a backup of your data

9 ways to secure your PC against ransomware attack

One of the most simple and the best measure that you could take would be to backup your crucial data and isolate it from any networks. Once backed up, even if hackers have taken away your data access privileges, you would not have to pay the ransom as you already have a copy of it.

That way, the hacker does not have any credible leverage over you, and you are free to continue with your work — simply reset your device.

Modern Firewalls

Firewalls are extremely helpful in filtering out malware, and this includes ransomware as well. Once ransomware infects your system, it spreads at great speeds, and you could reduce this propagation by restricting port 445.

Most of the times this is done by default, but you should cross-check to be sure. Even if the ransomware has somehow managed to penetrate your system, a sophisticated firewall will restrict any communication the ransomware would try to make to a remote sensor to carry out the ransomware attack.

An anti-virus that would not allow newly installed software to interact with personal folders present on the system would help you avoid any probable ransomware attack.

Also read: What is ‘five eyes’ surveillance? How does it affect VPN services?

Disable Macros in MS Office

MS Office is a well known for a backdoor using which malware can exploit your system. Check out this youtube video below that explains why Macros in MS Office applications are a threat.

Mostly, Macros is disabled by default, but if it’s not, you must disable it to shield yourself from any type of malware.

Disable extensions not in use to improve browser security

Browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Edge provide many software updates and must always update these regularly. Also, check for the browser plug-ins that are actually in use and disable the ones that aren’t.

Remove older plug-ins that haven’t been updated in a long time from your browser as well. This will help prevent ransomware to traverse through any unknown backdoors and get access to your system.

Also read: 9 different types of hackers you must know

Avoid visiting suspicious websites

It’s quite common for people to download entertainment media content like TV series, games, movies, songs on unauthorised websites for free. Getting access to such exclusive data does feel good, but one must be aware of the price that comes with it.

Most of these websites have a malicious javascript ransomware embedded in their web script that runs on visiting the website. So it’d be best to avoid visiting these sites unless you want to end up paying more than what you could pay for the content on their respective legit distributors.

Delete Spam emails

Spam emails usually move into the Spam folder but not always. As soon as you notice a spam mail in your inbox, delete it because any movement that leads to an unintended click inside it could cause the ransomware to install itself in the system.

Also, remember to not download any attachments from unknown sources as it is quite probable that it carries a malware.

Avoid using Computer’s admin account for daily use

If ransomware infects your system while the system is in root or admin’s account, it can take advantage of the situation and get access to your crucial data. Using a guest account will ensure the ransomware has limited privileges and keep your system safe from the attack.

Also read: Intrusion Detection System: Benefits, types and modes of operation

Security tools tailored to avoid Ransomware

There are a lot of reliable tools available to avoid Ransomware which includes CyberReason Ransomware for Windows. Also, Avast’s decryption tools provide fixes for almost all kinds of ransomware that may be present out there.

Update your system regularly

It is essential to be updated with the latest news and updates on the current kind of viruses and malware present. No more ransom is one such site that broadcasts the latest news on ransomware, with the provision of tools that can be used to fight them.

Also, in case you have been infected by ransomware and your screen displays a ransom note, do not panic immediately. Upload the note on ID Ransomware, and you will be given a tool to fight the exact ransomware your system has been infected with.

Also read: What is a Honeypot attack? How to deploy it

Parinita Haldar

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