Ransomware: The Attacker’s Choice for Cyber Extortion

The prominence of using online technologies to interact with people, whether in business or personal tasks, made people vulnerable cyber attacks. Cyberattacks are all done via software manipulation, which makes it more difficult to trace than actual crimes. One of the cyber attacks that can affect everyone, not just big companies, is cyber extortion.

Cyber extortions are done through a ransomware that is installed in your computer without your knowledge. These crimes are done to extract money from vulnerable victims. Many people fall victim to these ransomwares because they lack knowledge of online threats. Reading through Alpine Security’s Blog and other online blogs about online threats, you can avoid such from happening in your life.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Ransomware

When ransomware is installed, your computer system will be encrypted, and you will lose access to your files, in part or everything. Different types of ransomware have different ways of asking you to pay for access to your files. The situation mainly depends on the criminal as to how worse it can get. There are five main types of ransomware, such as:

  • Crypto-malware
  • Lockers
  • Scareware
  • Doxware
  • RaaS or Ransomware as a Service

All these types can enter your computer system with similar methods, and you can prevent these in five simple ways:

  1. Transact in Secure Connections

The worst way that you can be a victim of ransomware is doing transactions in public internet connections. You should avoid filling in your credentials in any online platforms using public connections. No matter how secure the website is, the public connection is the only thing that criminals need to access your personal files.

If transactions are urgent, you can use your mobile data and pay for it, as it is more secure than public connections. Otherwise, connect with your personal secured internet connection at your home or finish your transactions at a bank.

  1. Online Security Assessment

 Everything you do online can be traced at any given point of time, which makes online security assessment is essential. This is especially beneficial when you’re at your office at work, and you do various tasks involving online connections. You can jeopardize the company if you mistakenly installed a software that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Although offices mostly, if not all, have secured connections, the files you access are still random. Always make sure that you only click links that are reputable and with the supervisor’s permission. Avoid automatically downloading email attachments, so that you can double check the validity of that file. Online security assessment does not only apply to companies but also with personal tasks as well.

  1. Update Software 

Keep everything in your computer up to date and all necessary latest configuration tools included. There is a reason that different types of software do regular updates, and that is they found something lacking. It could be a bug or a lack in security that hackers can use to get through your system.

In companies, they have cybersecurity experts in charge of these types of tasks, but you should still be responsible for checking that everything in your system is up to date. Aside from the latest updates and configurations, you should make sure that all the software on your computer is reputable and genuine.

  1. Backup Your Data

The main goal of various types of ransomware is to prevent access to your files and let you pay the criminals. The best way to avoid paying is to have copies of all your files somewhere secured. In this way, when ransomware gets installed to your system, you don’t have to mind it and prepare your backup for access.

There are two ways that you can back up your files:

  • Cloud Storage. Though not all online storage platforms are secured, there are a few that are reputable and genuine. You can use such platforms to backup your files and encrypt those files with your own encryption details.
  • Offsite Storage. Aside from online storage, you should never forget to backup all your files offsite. You can either save the files on your personal computer, if those are from other sources and if you have permission to keep them, or use flash drives or external hard drives to store such files. Offsite storage is basically storing your files where it can’t be directly accessed through a certain network, public connections or office connections.
  1. Never Pay the Ransom

If you have been a victim of ransomware, the chances of being a victim again are great. The best way to avoid getting more ransomware attacks is to never pay the ransom. Aside from doing the tips as mentioned earlier, you should be prepared if such an attack happens.

There are various reasons that the best way to prevent more ransomware attacks is to not pay the ransom. One of them is that decryption of ransomware can lead to ransomware infections that could worsen the situation. These infections can let more hackers have direct access to your system even accessing files that they do not have access before the attack, and lead you vulnerable to more successive attacks.

The Bottom Line

Cyber extortion is avoidable in most cases, but it is always best to take precautions before any misfortunes take place. Always make sure that you implement cybersecurity to your system to prevent existing threats and identify unknown threats to prevent them. Have a peace of mind and keep everything secured all the time.