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Ransomware Attacks and How to Prevent Them Cyber attack is now something that we can all anticipate, yet we do expect them to attack us through the backdoor in a way which is covert and hidden. However, nothing is certain in cyber space. So here we are carefully looking behind us, unaware that the attackers are busy stealing information from before our very eyes. The threat of ransomware is a good example of a direct attack. What we are aware of are stealth attacks where we are extorted via logged keystrokes that capture passwords, account numbers, and other personal financial information without our knowledge, but this is not what ransomware is all about. What makes ransomware different is that it is more direct. In this attack the victim’s files become unreadable and thus, rendered useless, by using malicious codes to hijack the victim’s computer files which they then encrypt. The victim is then contacted by the attackers demanding a ransom in terms of payment or an online transaction in exchange of the decryption password. Despite its being not very widespread, ransomware is still a great threat to computer users. It may be used to blindside more and more people who are only worried about phishing or keyloggers. The good news is that the same techniques used to prevent users from falling victim to those widely known scams are the same with ransomware. If you don’t want ransomware attackers to hostage your files, then here are some tips to follow.
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If you get emails or attachments from unknown sources, do not open them.
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If you receive links from unknown sites, do not follow them. There are a lot of unknown sources where you can download games, files, or software, but be wary and only use reputable sites for your downloading purposes. Install antivirus, anti spyware software, and ransomawre blockers, and update them daily. You should always turn on your firewall and pop up blockers. Update all your browsers and system software regularly. In order not to sacrifice your important files or programs when you wipe off your hard drive, if necessary, all your system files and computer files should be backed up online, on a separate machine or on disk. Some people panic and instinctively hand over the payment, when faced with the loss of computer data. Somehow, most of these payments are unreasonable ones. There are ransomware programs that are not really destructive. It merely relies on empty threats to extract payment. It randomly activates pornographic pop ups on the user’s computer, threatens to destroy a file every 30 minutes until the user wires a conveniently low payment to the attackers in return for an unlock code. But, this program does not have the ability to delete or encrypt files. It just gives a fast, cheap fix which is not really a problem.