May 06, 2016

How to protect against ransomware?

Ransomware seems to be the “next big thing” in security threats. What is the best way to protect against ransomware attacks in a small business or home environment?
First of all, you need a reliable anti-spyware program, which is kept up-to-date. Secondly, make sure you stay away from illegal websites, fake updates and spam. At the moment of writing, spam acts as the main source of ransomware. Finally, back up your valuable data (business documents, photos, music files, art, etc.) to prevent its loss. If infected, you should disconnect your PC from the Internet to stop the encryption process. Then, remove infected files and restore your files from backup.
A couple of years ago there was an article on that gave simple advice. I think it's still applicable, although I'm not sure about the effectiveness of suggestions 10 & 11.

1. Back up your data
2. Show hidden file-extensions
3. Filter EXEs in email
4. Disable files running from AppData/LocalAppData folders
5. Use the Cryptolocker Prevention Kit
6. Disable RDP
7. Patch or Update your software
8. Use a reputable security suite
9. Disconnect from WiFi or unplug from the network immediately (if you suspect ransomware on a machine)
10. Use System Restore to get back to a known-clean state
11. Set the BIOS clock back

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