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How To Protect Against Ransomware

It’s never been easier to get a virus. Hacking methods are growing more sophisticated each day, and as we continue to integrate technology into our lives, we only become more susceptible to security breaches like ransomware.

Key Takeaways

  • Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data.
  • Ransomware attacks can have devastating effects on your business.
  • You can protect against ransomware with a variety of security protocols.
  • Professionals can remove the malware and help protect against ransomware in the future.


What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware used to encrypt files on your device, making them inaccessible to you. These files are then held hostage on your device until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware often appears in the form of phishing emails, which try to convince you to click on fraudulent links or open suspicious attachments. If you do so, the ransomware begins attacking your device and network, encrypting your files and holding them hostage.

How Can Ransomware Impact My Business?

When you’re hit by a ransomware attack, it can have devastating effects for your business. Below are a few examples of what happens during a ransomware attack:

  • Your files become encrypted and inaccessible.
  • The security of other devices on your network is jeopardized.
  • Your business will experience an extended period of downtime.
  • Unless your data is backed up, you must pay the ransom or clean out your entire operating system to get rid of the malware.

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Ransomware Prevention Best Practices

Although ransomware can have harmful effects for your business, that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent ransomware from infiltrating your systems in the first place—or at least limit the damage once it does. You can avoid ransomware with these tips listed below.

Keep Your Software up to Date

Keeping your software up to date is one of the best ways to protect against ransomware. As cyberthreats become more sophisticated, you need to give your network a fighting chance. Up-to-date antivirus software can monitor your files for abnormal behavior, preventing any strange pieces of software from encrypting your files. Some antivirus programs will even make copies of the files that are threatened.

Moreover, the rest of your network’s software should be updated, patched, and tested frequently. Frequent testing of your system’s security features can help you identify the ways that malware will attempt to break into your system—and how to stop it. Ultimately, this helps protect against ransomware.

Filter Emails

Ransomware infections often breach your system via email phishing scams. If you can prevent suspicious emails from reaching your inbox in the first place, you can reduce the possibility of a ransomware attack. There are a number of filtering programs that reduce the number of phishing attempts that reach your inbox, which can help you protect against ransomware.

Make Backups of Your Most Valuable Data

Having backups of your most critical business information is vital for protecting against ransomware. These backups allow you to easily restore compromised data and can reduce the impact of a ransomware attack. Restoring your backups also lets your company experience less downtime, so you can bounce back after a data breach.

Know the Risks of Connecting to the Internet

Performing work over the internet comes with inherent risks. Hackers and malicious users are constantly trying to find new ways to gain access to your information so they can exploit it. Your phone, computer, and the entire Internet connect to your network in some way. Each of these devices has varying levels of security protocol, providing malicious users a number of possible entry points into your system. You can protect against ransomware by limiting the number of devices on your network or by improving their security protocols.

Restrict and Segment Your Network


Ransomware users want the widest possible access to your network. For them, more data means more ransom money. A good way to protect against ransomware is to limit how wide these malicious users are able to cast their net.

One way to do this is to restrict the number of administrator accounts. These accounts often have access to most of the network, so they are frequently targets for phishing emails or other ploys. You can also restrict access permissions on lower level accounts, too, creating fewer access points to privileged data.

You can also segment your network. Network segmentation involves splitting up your network into smaller subnets that communicate with each other. Segmentation allows you to control the flow of data between different areas of your network. During a ransomware attack, this means you can restrict data from traveling between subnets, effectively preventing the ransomware from spreading.


Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly

Although most ransomware attacks occur through phishing emails, it isn’t the only way that hackers attempt to get into your system. In many cases, they use brute force attacks to guess passwords to accounts and networks. You can reduce the possibility of succumbing to these attacks by using a strong password and changing it frequently.

Here are a few tips to build a strong password:

  • Use at least 12 characters.
  • Include numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lowercase letters.
  • Don’t include common words, phrases, or personal information.
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple locations.

    Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly


    Although there are a number of ways to protect against ransomware, your network can still be breached, especially considering that hacking and phishing methods grow more sophisticated each day. If your network is attacked by ransomware, promptly contact a professional IT service to mitigate the effects. In many cases, it’s possible to retrieve your data without paying the ransom.

    At Arizona Computer Guru, we provide both remote and onsite virus and malware removal. With our assistance, you’ll be able to retrieve your ransomed data and get back online safely.

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