Do you know that every 14 seconds that you spend on the internet makes you vulnerable to thousands of ransomware attacks that happen daily? Identity and data theft is a booming business in the black market, and attackers keep on devising new tricks and malware to have something that they can offer to the highest bidders.
Most attacks will demand that you pay some money (via cryptocurrency since it makes it difficult to trace the recipient) in exchange for a decryption key so that you can access your data. While it might seem like the right thing to do, most experts advise against that as it is never a guarantee that you’ll retrieve 100% of your data. In fact, the ransom might even go up if you show that you can afford to make instant payments.
The best way to avoid such a dramatic showdown that might ruin your career, business, or reputation is by employing protective measures than being sorry when it happens. So, how do you do this?
Well, here are some tips:
Use stronger passwords.
Besides deterring unauthorized physical access, stronger passwords will make it hard for hackers to employ a brute-force attack on your devices. Most attacks that you’ll never see coming emanate from brute-forces where attackers may employ various passwords with an attempt to get the correct one. That is why you are encouraged to adopt high-combination passwords mixed with upper cases, lower cases, numbers, and special characters. It will help if you avoid obvious words like your child’s name, surname, or even birth date. Please don’t make it easy for the bad guys!
Backup your data.
Most people choose to ignore the importance of backing up their data until a ransomware attack hits them. Coordinated ransomware attacks aim at locking you away from your data, and if you have a reliable backup, the attackers will have no leverage in negotiation. Instead, you’ll now focus on hiring a cybersecurity firm to retrace them and develop a decryption key so that your data may not fall in the bad guys’ hands. You can copy everything in external drives and delink them when not using the computer. Reliable cloud storage solutions are also an option as they can allow you to revert any affected or missing data.
VPN is encouraged for Wi-Fi networks.
Public Wi-Fi networks should be a no go zone for you if you don’t have a VPN. We recommend installing a reliable VPN on your home router to mask your digital footprints and make it hard for the bad guys to channel their malicious links. When you browse from a “naked network,” most of the information you input in insecure websites can be accessible to thousands of hackers worldwide. Would you want to let hackers decide what to do with your bank details? Of course, you wouldn’t.
Update software and operating systems.
The main reason software and operating system providers update their products regularly is to patch any security loophole that hackers might find means to exploit. You are also encouraged to update them regularly as advised by the service provider so that you don’t become easy prey for cyber attacks. Remember, it is easier to exploit the vulnerabilities of the older software compared to the newer one.
Don’t share your personal information.
Lastly, it will interest you to know that hackers don’t necessarily need sophisticated software to gain access to your computer, browsing history, and data. You might get dubious calls and text messages soliciting for personal information, which may lure you to clicking on malicious links or giving vital information unknowingly.
These tips will ensure that you have a safe buffer between you and any imminent threat. Don’t forget to consult a cybersecurity firm to do occasional checks on your systems and offer better security recommendations.