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Do Not Let Ransomware Attackers Catch You by Surprise 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. While the victim is busy looking over his shoulder, the attacker may just run up and whack him over the head. 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. Then, the attackers will contact the victim, demanding a ransom in the form of a payment or online transaction in return for a decryption password. Ransomware is not very widespread, but hackers and users both become more sophisticated. While more and more people are worried about phishing and keyloggers, ransomeware attackers are blindsiding them. 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. Below are some tips to ward off ransomware from your computer.
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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. Only download games, files, or software from reputable sites and refrain from doing this from unknown sources. Antivirus, anti spyware software, and ransomware blockers must be installed and updated daily. Keep you installed firewall and pop up blocker turned on. All your browsers and system software should be regularly updated. It is important to back up on a separate machine, online, or on disk all system files and computer files so that you can wipe off the hard drive if necessary without sacrificing your important files or programs. People do whatever it takes to get their computer data back and so they pay the ransom for their hostaged files. However, many may find that they paid for no reason at all. There are ransomware programs that are not really destructive. It merely relies on empty threats to extract payment. What these attackers do is to use pornographic pop ups on the user’s computer, threaten to destroy their files every 30 minutes until the user pays the attackers and he is given an unlock code to retrieve his files. But, this program does not have the ability to delete or encrypt files. It only relies on the user’s need for a fast, cheap fix to what is essentially not a real problem.