With the ransomware attack in May 2017, protecting your PC is the need of the hour. So, here are some ways you should implement to secure the PC and thereby prevent data encryption. It’s better to be early rather than paying a ransom for getting back the information.
Seven Precautions You Should Take to Prevent Ransomware Attack
#Precaution 1: Avoid Opening Suspicious Emails and Links
Cybercriminals usually try to spread ransomware through phishing attacks. Though emails might appear legitimate, a malicious message is hidden. Without any awareness, the virus infects the computer once you navigate the link or open the attachment. The mail can speak about a campaign or an exciting offer with high quality graphics. Such messages are very much sufficient to entice individuals. So, ad blockers should be used to block the advertisements effectively.
#Precaution 2: Run Security Software Frequently
When applications and an operating system need to be updated frequently, there are high chances for exploiting vulnerabilities. In fact, the virus might enter through updates of third party plug-ins related with Flash and Java. So, in order to prevent the attack, you should have a security software installed on the system. Data and folders are secured through zero-day protection and signature-based protection. This is actually essential because the threats are detected as soon as the ransomware is released. You would surely seek a solution on how to get rid of ransomware.
#Precaution 3: Back up Data Regularly
On a regular basis, it’s highly recommended to take a backup off-site. Just in case the system gets hacked, you don’t have to pay a ransom in exchange of data. Information can be retrieved easily from the remote location. While home users are still targets, the ransomware also attacks small ventures. It’s quite devastating when you lose access to documents, invoices, spreadsheets and orders. Since the data is encrypted, you wouldn’t be able to work on files. Remote locations should be selected for backups because attackers search for systems and also lock then unknowingly.
Ways in which you can Backup Data
- A cloud service can help you to store chunks of data well in advance. Remember fraudsters would not be able to reach the location. As soon as you become a victim, you can always access data at any point of time from a different computer.
- Use an external hard drive to backup data. Since everything is stored under offline mode, data is not reachable once the virus enters the system. Remove the drive once you have transferred the files. If the drive is attached to the system during a ransomware attack, then the storage device would also get encrypted. Finally, you would have to go back to square one. There would be no way out to retrieve the data.
#Precaution 4: Disable RDP
Another way in which a Filecoder malware can break into your machine could be through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This is a propriety protocol for accessing a desktop over a network. Whenever it isn’t required, disable the protocol for protecting the system against attacks. In real time, RDP has nothing to do with the computer’s speed. Instead, it offers a solution on how to block ransomware. An IT professional might give you such kind of advice, but this fact isn’t true.
Steps to Disable RDP for Windows 7
Step 1: Click ‘Start’ and navigate to ‘Control Panel’.
Step 2: Go to ‘System and Security’ and select ‘System’.
Step 3: Under ‘System Protection’, open the ‘System Properties’ followed by the ‘Remote’ tab.
Step 4: Finally, click ‘Don’t Allow Connections To This Computer’ and confirm with the ‘OK’ button.
Steps to disable Remote Access for Mac
Step 1: Select ‘System Preferences’ present at the topmost left hand side of the screen.
Step 2: Next, select ‘Security & Privacy’ from the window and later go about clicking the lock symbol (present at bottom left hand side corner of the ‘Security & Privacy’ window).
Step 3: Click the ‘Advanced’ option and check the box ‘Disable remote control infrared receiver’.
Step 4: Confirm the action by clicking on the ‘OK’ button.
#Precaution 5: Limit Access Privileges
In case you don’t need administrator rights for your daily tasks, then create an account with limited access. You would then be enhancing security when you have to controls in your hands. Never stay logged in as admin more than it’s necessary. Avoid surfing the web, opening documents or indulging in some other activities. You should do such tasks only with the limited account.
#Precaution 6: Apply Latest Security Patches
Malware often rely on outdated applications that have bugs in them. So, to avoid the dreadful situation, make sure you have applied security patches. This tip would restrict the attacker for infecting the PC with the malicious virus.
#Precaution 7: Enable File Extensions
In many scenarios, ransomware deceives you through an executable (.exe) file. You might view a file with double extensions (.pdf.exe could be an example). So, it’s better to tick the option that displays the extension. With this feature, you would be able to recognize the suspicious files and delete it immediately before you are caught into serious trouble.
Hope you have enjoyed learning the ways for protecting the system. If you have any other way, do feel free to share.