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How to Avoid Paying Big Money in a Ransomware Attack

by | Mar 17, 2020 | Articles, Hardware Support, IT Support, Tips and Advice

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In 2017, a cybercrime network known as the Lazarus group victimized over 200,000 people and infected over 300,000 computers with ransomware. The attack was aimed at computers with the Microsoft Windows operating system and demanded payment in the form of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. This worldwide ransomware attack sends shivers through anyone who regularly uses and stores sensitive information on their computers. Even more terrifying is this: ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common. At least 113 successful attacks were reported last year, from individuals and large corporations alike.

It can be tempting to pay the hacker when faced with a ransomware attack, but law enforcement agencies advise against that. Not only does it give the hacker what they want and encourage them to attack more people, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get your data back. The best way to face the rising ransomware threat is by protecting yourself and your information before it happens. We’ll tell you what you need to know and how you can secure sensitive files so there’s no need to pay if an attack happens to you.

Password Protection

Without cracking a password, most hackers can’t get into your stuff. The majority of ransomware attacks begin with ‘brute-force attacks’: an automated system of testing different passwords until one works. If your password is weak, or if you use the same complex password for everything, you’re at a higher risk.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid using passwords you can tell another person in under 30 seconds. Use strong, complex passwords, and use different passwords for everything. If a hacker can find your password, it will likely end up on a password cracking list and shared with other hackers. Using different passwords for everything can be overwhelming and difficult at first, so write your passwords and what they’re for on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet or hidden in your work desk.

Offline Backups

Keep an offline backup of your most sensitive information. You can do this by storing it on a flash drive or keeping paper copies in a secured place. Ransomware attacks infect your computer, so they can’t steal information that isn’t stored on there. Even if they get all the information on your computer, they won’t be able to take your backup copies. This security measure is especially important for hospitals. Patient files should always be backed up so hospitals can continue to treat their patients if the digital copies are stolen.

Planning Ahead

Companies should always have a plan to deal with ransomware attacks. It’s important that the entire company is on the same page and knows what will happen. This will reduce panic and keep anyone from blindly paying the ransom. It’s best to have a no-pay policy with a plan to contact authorities and professionals who can deal with the attack.

Computer CPR: Keeping Tarrant County Safe from Cyber Attacks

At Computer CPR, our team of software specialists can remove all kinds of malware, including viruses and ransomware, from your computer. We know how these things work, and we’re committed to helping you deal with malware and improve your security. Give us a call today or visit our stores in Southlake and Forth Worth for any virus removal services you need!