Sponsored - Ransomware demands have continued to grow in frequency and severity in the last few years with six and seven-figure demands becoming routine. According to the World Economic Forum, 95% of data breaches can be traced back to human error. As cybercriminal attacks become increasingly sophisticated, it’s important to understand how you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim.
How Ransomware works
Ransomware is a malicious software that restricts access to an infected device by encrypting files on the system’s hard drive. Once encryption is completed, the user is locked out of their device. At this point, the cybercriminal demands payment of a ransom in exchange for the owner to regain access to the data and system.
Cybercriminals can start a ransomware attack in a variety of ways, including:
· Scam Emails. Also known as phishing, these emails include links and attachments that put your data and network at risk. If you click on the fraudulent link, you open the door for cybercriminals to access your device and, in some cases, demand a ransom in exchange for not sharing your information.
· Infected Websites. Website users may have experienced an infected website if the website does not work properly, error messages/warnings are displayed, or your computer exhibits strange behavior after visiting an infected website.
· Online Ads. Cybercriminals can launch “malvertising” attacks by buying ad space from advertising networks and then submitting infected images with malicious code. Once you click on a malicious ad, criminals gain access to infect your computer.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself, your personal information, and your computer.
- Don’t open emails from someone you don’t know. Also, don’t open attachments or click on links you weren’t expecting to receive.
- Don’t brows suspicious sites. Cybercriminals count on users mistyping the name of a legitimate site. These sites are made to look like a legitimate site, but are used to deliver malware to the device.
- Keep your security up to date. Install the latest patches and updates. Look for additional means of protection, such as email authentication and intrusion prevention software.
- Back up your data. Regularly save important files to a drive or server that’s not connected to your network. Make data backup part of a regular routine.
While there’s no foolproof way of preventing ransomware attacks from occurring, you can help minimize your chances of becoming a victim by following these tips and taking preventive measures.
To learn about other ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, visit our web site at FirstCommerceCU.org/Fraud.
You can also view previous segments of Money Minute at FirstCommerceCU.org/MoneyMinute.
Insured by NCUA. First Commerce does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. The information on this page is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your tax, legal or accounting advisor for further guidance.