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5 little-known ways you can stay safe against ransomware

COVID-19 is not the only virus we’re battling in 2020.

During lockdown, there has been a dramatic surge of computer viruses reported globally, especially ransomware.

Ransomware is a virus which encrypts your data; the hacker then has you at their behest, holding you to ransom for large sums of money.

This virus is particularly damaging as there is no guarantee that you’ll get your data back. If you pay. Will they will actually decrypt your files?

Your data could be lost forever.

Now that remote working is the new normal, hackers have shifted their efforts to attack your staff computers at their homes, where security is likely to be much more relaxed than on an office network.

While everyone’s efforts are focussed on keeping coronavirus away from their front doors, malware can silently attack through the back doors.

So, here are our top 5 little-known ways to keep yourselves safe from ransomware & other modern threats:

Number 5) Update, update, and update some more
Keep your device up-to-date at all times. Whether you’re on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, or Linux, keeping up to date should be a priority.

At the time of writing (06 October 2020), these are the latest versions of each mainstream operating system.

Windows: Windows 10
MacOS: MacOS Mojave (though Big Sur is likely to come out later this month)
Android: Android 11
iOS: iOS 14

Number 4) Regular backups are key
Sometimes it’s impossible to protect yourself in realtime from ransomware threats, so the next best thing is a backup.

By creating regular backups of your system to an external drive, you give yourself a safety net that you can revert back to in the event of an infection.

Number 3) Make sure you’re using an anti-virus program
It’s all well and good having backups & staying up-to-date, but it’s all done in vain if you don’t have any virus protection installed.

Anti-virus & anti-malware suites are specifically designed to keep your device safe & protected from virus & malware threats. We often recommend ESET, Webroot, Avast & Malwarebytes.

Number 2) Restricted Admin Access
Administrators are a ‘super user’ account, meaning that they have full privilege to install programs & make changes to your PC. If your users are all administrators, you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of threats.

You should have one password restricted administrator account, and every other person that uses the PC should have a generic/restricted ‘user’ account, requiring the administrator password to make any changes.

Number 1) Getting your data back
This is more of a last-resort than a preventative measure, but with some ransomware infections it is possible to get your data back.

This is thanks to Kaspersky, who’ve created a whole suite of ransomware decryptors, which can restore all of the encrypted files back to their original state & make them yours again.

Hackers never stop. But neither do we, at Pure IT.

Our cyber security specialists provide advice, services & multi-layered protection for your office network and cloud-based services.

Most importantly at this time, it is our top priority to keep people safe and completely cyber-secure while working in their own homes.

If you are unsure if your business is fully covered from cyber-attacks while in lockdown, then pop us an email, give us a call, or book a meeting with us today.

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