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5 Best Practices for Preventing Ransomware

3 min read

One of the most frustrating types of malware that you can end up with on your devices is ransomware. Ransomware locks down your files, refusing to return them to you unless you pay a specific predetermined ransom amount. However, with these five best practices, you can make sure that you’re preventing ransomware attacks as frequently as possible.

1. Don’t Use Unknown USB Devices

Using unknown USB devices is a big way that ransomware can spread. If you need to insert an unknown USB device into a computer, make sure that the computer has disabled the auto-run feature for USB devices and thumb drives, and make sure the computer isn’t connected to the network when you insert the device. That way, if ransomware does impact the computer, it can’t transmit to any other computers on the network.

2. Be Careful What Links You Click On

Malicious links on the internet are another huge way that ransomware can transmit. If you see a link to an unknown website, it’s a good idea to check out that link with someone else before you click it. You can also hover over the link to make sure it actually links to the web page that you think it goes to, as malicious actors can make it appear as though the link goes to a safe page when it doesn’t.

3. Always Be Careful With Email Attachments

The last main way that ransomware spreads is through email attachments – up to 25% of all ransomware attacks may be due to email attachments. Ransomware scammers may use phishing to get you to download an attachment that will harm your computer. Check and double-check the email address when you’re downloading an attachment, and never download an attachment you don’t trust. It is also recommended that organizations secure several sensitive mobile applications including their in-house email applications with the help of Runtime Application Self Protection (RASP) solutions. This can enable app authentication that will only allow legit email applications to access your services. All clones that try to mimic your app won’t be able to access your servers. That way, businesses would be sheathed from any potential ransomware.

4. Have a Plan for Ransomware Attacks

If a ransomware attack does impact your network, what are you going to do about it? An unfortunate number of small and medium-sized businesses have never considered this problem, which can make them more likely to pay thousands of dollars to get their information back after a ransomware attack. Create a cyber incident response team and make sure that you have a response plan just in case.

5. Maintain Backups of All Your Critical Data

Backups are the most crucial part of getting back to normal after a ransomware attack. If you have an air-gapped backup, you can make sure that your critical data is available immediately after a ransomware attack. Otherwise, you’ll have to completely stop everything you’re doing the moment a ransomware attack happens. Backups are immensely important here.

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In general, preventing ransomware can be surprisingly simple. If you’re careful to pay attention to where your files come from and not download files from untrustworthy sources, you’ll be much more likely to avoid ransomware on your network. Plus, when you have backups and a plan in case of ransomware attacks, you’ll be able to combat any attacks that do happen to slip past your defenses.

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