Ransomware is one of the most deadly and damaging types of malware taking control of computers, and mobile devices, and demanding payment to release files.

Instances of it are also growing. However, you can defend against it.

Use antivirus

This is a golden rule. Computers not protected with antivirus are vulnerable to the swarms of malware that infest the internet. Antivirus locks them out and identifies and stops ransomware in its tracks. Good antivirus is an absolute must.

Install updates

Software updates are released to fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Remember the big bad WannaCry ransomware? It went global in hours infecting everything from hospitals to car manufacturers and transport hubs. And it exploited vulnerability in the XP operating system. XP is old and no longer supported by Microsoft; people really shouldn’t have been using it. So don’t delay, install your updates today. 

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Cast a wary eye

Emails, websites and apps can all be used to trick people into downloading ransomware, whether its phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites and questionable apps and programs.
This is why it’s a good idea to be wary of unsolicited emails or unfamiliar websites. Also don’t download an app that hasn't been verified by an official store and read online reviews before installing programs.

Back it up

The greatest damage from a ransomware attack is the loss of files, including pictures and documents. As such it’s a good idea to back up all your files on an external hard drive that isn't connected to the internet or a cloud-based storage service. If you are hit with an attack you won't lose any information.

Don’t pay the ransom

If you pay the ransom it encourages attackers and there is no guarantee that you will recover your files. And if you’ve got a back-up you can restore your files.