4 ways to protect yourself: Ransomware is inevitable

You know we live in a crazy world when ransomware attacks are treated like terrorism investigations. In the past few years, hackers have tried to attack almost every important website, server and company. They have succeeded in most of their attempts because the world was not ready for the coronavirus pandemic.

Everyone was too focused and afraid of catching the virus and forgot about another threat that was always lurking in the shadows – hackers.

Over the past three years, the number of successful cyber attacks has increased significantly. The statistics are enough to make you question whether having a website is really worth it.

It is almost certain that you will suffer from hacking. It’s only a matter of time before it happens.

Hackers are getting smarter

The physical world is merging with the virtual and the line between the two is slowly being erased. Most people can’t function a day without their phones, and the amount of information these little devices have on our lives is terrifying.

Bad actors are aware of this and use ransomware to make money. The purpose of ransomware is to encrypt your data and make it impossible to access unless you give them money. Even if you pay them, there is no guarantee that they will decrypt your information.

As bad as it is for individuals, it is even worse for manufacturers, oil and electric companies, water suppliers and medical facilities. There is no ethics when the person on the other side of the screen is untraceable and anonymous. This is the scary part of human nature. Hackers don’t know where to draw the line.

4 ways to protect yourself

The best way to protect yourself from ransomware is to know it exists, and hackers will try every trick in the book to get you to click on their malicious links. Often they observe objects for months without doing anything.

During this time, they observe patterns of behavior and how you interact with the network as a whole. Only after they have a clear idea of ​​what types of links are you clicking on will they proceed with an attack. Sophisticated social engineering is all about making it look like you’re talking to a real person.

Most of the time, they’ll use a recruiting platform to offer you a job with great benefits and a fantastic salary commensurate with what you’re already doing. During the recruitment process, they will send you a PDF, Word or Excel file and all you need to do is download and open it.

These files can be embedded with an executable file that will place ransomware on your device and you can be locked out of your computer or phone. It may not seem like much, but if you have passwords for a huge company, it can be worth millions of dollars. In the case of Axie Infinity, such a situation cost them half a billion dollars.

Use a virtual private network

Many people underestimate the importance of having a VPN. The technology behind the software was developed for military purposes, which means it is impenetrable when it comes to safety and security. VPNs became widespread and popular recently when the technology became available to large corporations and then cheap enough for the general public.

A virtual private network helps hide your identity online by masking your IP address. Some services even block trackers, hide ads, scan files for malware, and even check websites to make sure they’re secure. Getting a complete package is seamless, especially if you deal with sensitive information daily and from remote locations.

Know how to handle your passwords

Unless you use a password manager, you probably use a variation of your master password for every website login. This is not the ideal thing. If a hacker gets hold of one of your passwords, they’ll be able to brute force their way into all of your accounts and wreak havoc on your digital data.

Most websites already have a multi-factor authentication option and it would be wise to use it. You can get an email or SMS, or use an app like Google Authenticator to make sure no one else can get into your account, even if they crack one of your passwords. Biometrics are also a good option because you’ll need to use your fingerprint or face scan to log into an account.

Back up your data regularly

Backing up your data regularly is very important when dealing with ransomware hackers. Their whole modus operandi is to lock your devices and make you unable to access important files. However, having those files on another server halfway across the globe is a great way to limit the leverage they will try to use against you.

These days, cybercriminals make a copy of your data before encrypting it to scare you into releasing it on the dark web or selling it to other bad actors. Having another copy of your own makes the problem a bit better because you won’t have to worry about waiting for them to decrypt your locked assets.

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