Back in 2016, I had mentioned that ransomware was on the rise. Well, it’s 2021, and it’s bigger and worse than ever before.
We’ve seen power grids, fuel lines, hospitals, you name it; they have been victims of the growing ransomware attacks worldwide.
These larger infrastructure attacks get all the headlines, while smaller stake victims don’t get covered quite as much in the media.
So what happens in a ransomware attack? Well, after you pull yourself from the floor, you’ll probably see a message saying all your data has been encrypted, and you now need to send some form of payment to someone to decrypt it all. This could be troves of data. Note: I hope you made a backup of this somewhere.
Here are some quick tips on how you can limit your vulnerability to these type of attacks.
First, update your computer system. Whether it’s a Mac or Windows, even Linux, check that your security updates are all applied. Most of the systems that have fallen victim have been left alone for ages and never touched. Some say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” well, better have a look because it just might be “broke”. Legacy systems tend to have weak points that could be exploited, and if they have any kind of network connection, that’s a possible hole to breach.
Next, your mobile devices, though not quite as common, can occur. Especially on mobile phones that have been modified to allow 3rd party application stores to be installed. So if you know a “friend of a friend” that can get you connected with some special apps, well, you’re probably at risk. It’s less likely to happen on an Apple device unless you hacked/modified it, but it’s pretty easy and common to do on Android devices. Mobile devices also have security updates, so make sure you’ve applied these as well.
Another preventative measure to put in place is to invest in some security software. There are quite a few out there, some paid, some for free to start.
Here are some quick links on some known free to start ones:
Stay protected and safe.