How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks, According To The Experts

How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks, According To The Experts ... 15/05/2017 Internet-IT

Keywords:#ABC, #ABC_News, #BBC,, #New_York, #New_York_Times, #News, #Times, #Wall_Street, #Wall_Street_Journal

Since Friday, a massive malware attack known as WanaCrypt0r 2.0 or WannaCry has paralyzed hundreds of thousands of computers networks worldwide, making users' files inaccessible unless they pay hackers a ransom. If you weren't affected by the WannaCry attack, you're probably wondering what you can do to prevent future ransomware attacks from infecting your computer.
Turns out, it mostly comes down to computer hygiene basics. Here's the best advice we've read on keeping your files safe from any ransomware since the latest attack started spreading.
Keep Your Software Up To Date
"It's absolutely critical that you install updates to your operating system and to all your software as they become available," [software engineer Quincy] Larson said. "One of the reasons why you download the updates is not just for new features but it's also for additional security."
Larson said that unlike larger companies and organizations, "individuals are particularly vulnerable because they don't necessarily have recently updated software and one of the best ways you can prevent ransomware or malware in general from getting on your computer is just to make sure that your operating system... is updated to the latest version."
[ABC News]
Don't Click On Unfamiliar Links
The primary method of infecting victims with ransomware involves every hacker’s favorite bait — the "spray-'n'-pray" phishing attack, which involves spamming you with emails that carry a malicious attachment or instruct you to click on a URL where malware surreptitiously crawls into your machine. ...
But ransomware hackers have also adopted another highly successful method — malvertising — which involves compromising an advertiser’s network by embedding malware in ads that get delivered through web sites you know and trust, such as the malvertising attacks that recently struck the New York Times and BBC. Ad blockers are one way to block malicious ads, patching known browser security holes will also thwart some malvertising.
Back Up Your Files To The Cloud Or An External Hard Drive
If you have a backup copies of your files, the ransomware threat rings hollow. And think beyond ransomware. Over time, your computer’s file system faces a growing chance of becoming corrupted and unreadable. If it happens, you will be grateful you backed up those business records, videos of baby’s first steps, and photos of your Hawaiian vacation. As my colleague, Geoffrey Fowler, has noted, there are some really great automatic backup options available these days that run about $50 to $60 a year.
[Wall Street Journal]
Use Antivirus Software
An age-old computer security tip, antivirus programs can stop ransomware from being downloaded onto computers and can find it when it is.
Most antivirus programs can scan files to see if they might contain ransomware before downloading them. They can block secret installations from malicious adverts when you're browsing the web, and look for malware that may already be on a computer or device.
Of course, it's possible a hacker will figure out a way past all these blocks, but chances are, if you're better prepared than most other people, you'll be in okay shape.

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