Computer viruses are very annoying, especially since they make valuable business data inaccessible in many cases. Therefore, make sure that you are well prepared.
In recent years, the ransomware viruses have become very popular. This type of virus encrypts as much data as possible on the infected computer and attempts to do the same on the network drives the logged in user has access to. Next, the user is notified that they must pay (usually via the digital currency Bitcoin) to decrypt the data.
5 tips to be well prepared
No single solution can provide 100% protection because criminals always come up with new ways to infect users’ devices. It is therefore important to apply multiple layers of protection. These are the most common:
- take care to have recent virus and spam scanners on servers, PCs and other connected devices;
- regularly update your software to the latest version;
- make frequent backups over multiple periods (retention);
- Never react to a ransom request, this only encourages criminals to make more ransomware;
- be critical of what you open, if a link or document seems suspect, do not open it.
Because these emails are designed so that they look like legitimate email, they are often not blocked by the spam filter. It is very difficult to stop this kind of email, because the distributors frequently come up with new ways to ensure that their mail is not detected by spam filters. This unfortunately means that these emails arrive in your inbox. Fortunately, the dangerous attachments are removed in most cases. The only thing you can do, is delete the unwanted mail.
Other methods of distribution
There are other methods than mail to spread viruses. The most common of these is through web pages. Recently a vulnerability in Adobe Flash was exploited. Since Flash is on the wane, we advise you to uninstall this software and disable it in browsers. CNET Download.com has good descriptions of how to do this for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari.
Please note: Always be critical of what you open!
Richard de Vroede
A perfectionistic Jack-of-all-trades who dedicates all of his passion to his work.
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