As our awareness of cyber attacks increases, so does the creativity of the hackers. Today, ransomware is on the rise. Ransomware is an attack in which hackers use malware to hack into your computer and demand money in exchange for the code to decrypt it. Here is what you need to know and what you can do to avoid being the next victim.
As with other types of scareware, ransomware attempts to tap into human emotions to get the victim to pay up. You’ll know your computer has been attacked if you receive a popup notification demanding ransom payment and preventing you from using any programs until you hand over the funds. Alternative payment methods are commonly requested, such as iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, and bitcoins. Regrettably, paying the fee does not always guarantee the hacker will give you the decryption key and you’re not only out the money but also your computer and all your files.
Unfortunately, once you have been hacked, there isn’t much you can do other than pay the ransom and hope you can recover your files. However, there are a few things you and your business can do to stay vigilant. Considering cyber attacks on SMBs are on the rise, 61% of attacks on businesses with less than 1,000 employees (source: Verizon), it’s crucial to take action. Avoid opening unverified emails or clicking on any of the links they contain, keep applications and antivirus software updated, backup files regularly, and consider moving to a secure cloud environment to avoid losing valuable data.
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