Malicious software comes in many different forms, but few are as insidious as ransomware. As the name suggests, this type of malware takes control of devices and essentially holds them for ransom until victims provide adequate compensation. Once ransomware finds its way onto a device, removing it can prove incredibly difficult. As such, it’s recommended that you take preventative measures to avoid infection altogether. Fortunately, keeping ransomware at bay doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Aided by the following pointers, you should have no trouble steering clear of ransomware and keeping your devices infection-free.
Outfit Your Devices With Top-notch Cyber Security
In the never-ending fight against ransomware, reliable security software can be an invaluable ally. With this in mind, take care to outfit your computers, phones and other internet-enabled deviceswith antivirus software designed for ransomware removal and detection.
However, investing in top-notch antivirus software is only half the battle. For it to be truly effective, you’ll need to download and install updates as they become available. Since this process typically takes several minutes, people frequently put updates on the backburner, thereby leaving their devices vulnerable. Every update is created in response to a new threat, and the longer you avoid installing them, the greater the likelihood of infection. While waiting for new updates to install can be slightly bothersome, this minor inconvenience is well worth the additional protection your devices will receive.
Enable Automatic Operating System Updates
Your operating system works in tandem with your antivirus software to keep ransomware and similar threats at bay. As is the case with the aforementioned software, operating system updates need to be downloaded and installed ASAP to maximize their effectiveness.
Fortunately, you can streamline this process by enabling automatic updates. This will give your OS the go-ahead to acquire and install updates the instant they become available. Since updates often drop during the overnight hours, this means that in many cases, the installation process will take place while you’re asleep, thus saving you the trouble of waiting. OS manufacturers want to help users avoid viruses and malware, but their efforts can only be effective when users do their part.
Schedule Regular Virus Scans
To ensure that ransomware isn’t able to slip through the cracks, make a point of scheduling regular threat scans with both your operating system and preferred antivirus program. In most instances, these scans make minimal use of system resources, meaning they can be performed in the background without interfering with other processes. Threat scans are helpful in detecting viruses and malicious software before they have chance to inflict lasting damage, and for best results, it’s recommended that you schedule at least one every 24 hours.
Be Wary of Suspicious Links
Since ransomware is commonly spread through suspicious links, exercising caution whenever you’re presented with a link from an unfamiliar source is crucial to online safety. Such links are frequently found in emails and on unsecured websites, and upon clicking them, users are redirected to sites that are swimming in ransomware and other types of malicious software.
Some cybercriminals place these links in texts and emails that purport to be from friends, family members or professional acquaintances. While it’s natural to let one’s guard down when reading a message from a trusted colleague, it’s important to keep an eye out for suspicious elements in the communiqués you receive. Since most cybercriminals aren’t good at emulating other people’s communication styles, it’s often easy to spot fraudulent messages for what they are. If you have even the slightest doubt about a message’s authenticity, avoid clicking any attached links.
Malicious software has become so prevalent that active measures to avoid it should be a regular part of every person’s internet regimen. If ransomware is able to infect one or more of your devices, you’ll instantly be faced with a number of tough choices and have a very hard time removing it. This is why it’s important to take preventative steps against ransomware and make sure it never has a chance to infiltrate your devices. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Utilizing the tips discussed above will give you a huge advantage over the criminals who create and propagate malicious software.