Five tips to defend against ransomware

Ransomware is some of the most feared and fastest-growing malware, locking devices in exchange for a cash ransom. Here are five tips to defend yourself

We've often talked about ransomware, the malware that can lock our devices, including files, videos, data and photos, and demand a cash ransom to unlock them. They are among the fastest growing viruses of the last year, affecting businesses and individuals alike. Let's take a look at five tips to defend yourself.

Ransomware works in a very simple way: it enters the user's computer and blocks access to it. In order to be able to use your device again, you have to pay a ransom that usually varies between 200 and 500 euros. There are several ways to get infected by ransomware, such as email attachments, malicious links or via exploit kits. Usually ransomware viruses wedge themselves inside our computers without us noticing. Paying the ransom is not the ideal solution and it is possible to prevent the attack with a little care.

Use an antivirus

It may sound trivial but the first step is to be cautious. So if we have been infected let's contact the authorities and don't pay the ransom. In order not to be infected, the first advice is to protect our devices. How? With a reliable antivirus. Safe's F-Secure is one of the most award-winning systems in the fight against ransomware and will block most of the currently known malware. And it will also protect us from new threats because it is constantly being updated.

Regular Backups

Backing up your data is critical to being protected from a possible ransomware attack. We save every one of our important data and documents offline to prevent the ransomware virus from making it useless. If we do this, we won't be afraid of lockouts on the device. We could delete everything without risking losing any files.

Update software

Avoiding ransomware, as well as many other malware, is not easy, but by constantly updating our devices we will make life harder for cyber criminals. So let's remember to do it and if we're not sure about the versions of the software we're using we can always use an app manager for updates. It will notify us whenever new versions are available.

Fourth tip: beware of attachments

We have said it many times: always pay attention to email attachments. In email conversations hide an infinite number of dangers for our computer security. And ransomware, as well as other malware make the most of these systems to hit their victims. Pay special attention to files in ZIP format and Office documents, such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel. On these files, remember to always disable Macros.

Limiting plugins

When possible, while browsing, try to limit the use of web browser plugins such as Flash Player or Silverlight. Doing it is simple, it takes a second, just go to the browser settings. This little technique will protect us while browsing the Internet.