News & Updates

Protect Yourself from Ransomware

Malware – There’s been a lot in the news lately regarding Malware attacks.  What exactly is it?  Simply put, Malware is “malicious software” designed to damage and destroy computers and computer systems. Cybercriminals typically use it to extract data they can leverage over victims for financial gain.

Ransomware is a type of malware that accesses a victim’s files, then locks and encrypts them, and demands the victim pay a ransom in order to get the files back. Cybercriminals use these attacks to try to get users to click on attachments or links that appear legitimate but actually contain malicious code.  Ransomware is like the “digital kidnapping” of valuable data – from personal photos and memories to client information, financial records, and intellectual property. Any individual or organization could be a potential ransomware target.

Here are some tips to help protect yourself:

  • Keep the software on all of your Internet-connected devices up to date. Make sure you are running the most current versions of your security software as well as other frequently used programs and apps.
  • Turn on two-step authentication – also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication – on accounts where available. Two-factor authentication can use anything from a text message to your phone to a token to a biometric like your fingerprint to provide enhanced account security.
  • Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by regularly making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
  • Make sure to use a strong password with at least 12 characters. Focus on phrases that are easy for YOU to remember.
  • If you doubt a link in an email, social media posts, and online advertising, don’t click on it.  This is often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them before saving anything.

Information provided by #stopthinkconnect