This past Friday, a worldwide malware attack called WannaCry affected over 100,000 organizations across 150 different countries. WannaCry is an example of ransomware which is a type of virus that blocks access to your files and demands that you pay a fee to access them. The use of ransomware has been on the rise in the world of cybercrime as around 60 percent of all malware is ransomware. The fee it demands may be anything from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, and 64 percent of those affected end up paying the ransom. However, if you pay the ransom, you may not get access to your files back.
Malware protection is important to prevent attacks on your computer from ransomware. The following tips will help you stay protected:
- Open attachment files with caution, especially if they are compressed or ZIP files. Do not open attachments from people you don’t know.
- Stay current with the updates to your operating system and antivirus software.
- Back up your data on an external drive or somewhere remote where they can be protected. Ransomware is the most effective if you have no other access to your files.
- Don’t trust unfamiliar links or links from people you don’t know.
The best defense against malware is taking preventative measures because dealing with the effects of malware is a major hassle.
Note: The above tips cannot replace professional protection and consulting with an IT specialist is the best option.