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If you’ve been following our series on cyber security, you’re already aware that no one is immune to cyber threats. Coming from our own Alex in support, here are some tips on how to protect yourself from Ransomware.

4 Good Browsing Habits to protect from Ransomware

  1. Do not download anything from a website that you don’t trust. If you are looking for a file or image make sure that the place where you are downloading it from is reputable. Anything that you may find from other places may not be so trustworthy; you need to take caution and scan the file with your local anti-virus software.
  2. Use virus, malware, detection software, like Norton Antivirus, Avast, and many more. Most malware/anti-virus providers keep their definitions up-to-date to help protect against as much as they can. However if a user doesn’t keep their software up-to-date, it can be useless.
  3. Use a pop-up blocker to prevent pop-ups when browsing. A lot of time you will get pop-up notifications saying “YOU’RE INFECTED, CLICK HERE TO GET IT REMOVED” and “YOUR GOOGLE CHROME IS OUT OF DATE, CLICK HERE TO UPDATE.” More often than not, these can lead to malware or viruses.
  4. Use HTTPS Everywhere, and never provide sensitive info on non-secure sites. This ensures that any info that you may give out will be securely transmitted from the client PC to the Server and vice versa.

3 Good Email Habits to protect from Ransomware

  1. Do not download any .exe files from emails. Emails are a common way to spread ransomware. Cyber criminals take over emails addresses or spoof email addresses to send out their trojans. Most trojans used are normally .exe files, these are executable files that run arbitrary code that infects the PC. Most email providers do not allow people to send .exe and .js (javascript) files to be sent through the mail server.
  2. Use virus, malware, detection software, like Norton Antivirus, Avast, and many more. Most malware/anti-virus providers offer email scanning, if you receive an attachment it usually good to have it scanned just in case for any threats.
  3. Be aware of suspicious emails. If you receive an email asking you to download something or click on a link and you do not know the sender, then it is usually a good idea to just delete the email. If you think it is important and/or know the person, give them a call and or start a new email, then email them directly at their last known email address. Just hitting reply could still send the email to the criminals and not the actual person.

In every case, the best way to avoid malware and viruses is to think twice before clicking. A lot of ransomware can be stopped by paying attention to the extension of the file. Most people do not go to the internet to download .exe files; if you do, only do so from trusted website and make sure to scan the file with your virus scanner before trying to open. But know that even then, it is still a risk. Safe browsing, everyone!

See the other posts in the series:

Alex Guard

About the Author

Alex Guard
Alex is a support guru here. Unlike your average "IT Guy" Alex doesn't just boast the phrase "Did you turn it off and back on again?" He gets elbows deep into our technological issues and finds major solutions.

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