Aftermaths of ransomware attacks are similar to playing Russian roulette: paying a ransom may be the only option for getting your locked information back. This is why you should focus on preventing it from happening in the first place.
The growth of ransomware over the last few years has really driven the security industry to create plenty of tools that are able to block these types of threats. Very few of them are 100% fool-proof though.
#1 Back up your most important files regularly
Use different methods, so that a failure of any single one won’t cause you to lose data. For example, store a copy in the cloud such as Dropbox and other copies on flash drives.
A great way to do this is to toggle your data access privileges and have set read/write permissions so that your files can’t be erased or modified. Another tip is to check the integrity of your copies every once in a while.
#2 Be sure to personalize your anti-spam settings immediately
Most ransomware will be spread though eye-catching emails that have very contagious attachments. It is very important that you configure your server for webmail to block certain attachments like .scr, .exe, or .vbs.
#3 Don’t open suspicious attachments
Not only does this apply to messages that have been sent by unfamiliar people, but also to senders who are you acquaintances. Phishing emails will often be hidden by notifications from a delivery service, a law enforcement agency, banking institution, or an e-commerce resource.
#4 Think before you click
There are dangerous hyperlinks that can appear on social media sites or instant messengers sent by people that you trust, including your friends. For this type of attack to be deployed, the cyber criminal will compromise their accounts and then send bad links to as many people as they can.
#5 Showing the file extension features can help
There is a native windows function that will allow you to see what type of file is being opened, so that way you are able to see what type of harmful file it is. The cyber criminals may use a confusing technique where a file is assigned several extensions such as cute-dog.avi.exe.
#6 If you have a suspicious process on your computer, shut off the internet
This is perfect for the early stage of attack due to the fact that the ransomware doesn’t have the chance to establish a connection with the command and control service and won’t be able to finish the encryption route.
#7 Enhance your protection by setting up additional firewall protection
There are certain security programs that will work with several different firewalls in a feature set, which is a great additional feature to your defense system.
#8 Consider enhancing the security of your Microsoft Office components
You should consider disabling the ActiveX and macros as well. Blocking external content is also a dependable technique that you can use to keep malicious code from being used within your PC.
#9 Use strong passwords that can’t be brute-forced by remote cyber criminals
Setting up a unique password for your various accounts will reduce the potential risk of being hacked.
#10 Go ahead and deactivate the AutoPlay feature
This allows you to control what types of media will be launched from external places like other drives or memory sticks.
#11 Ensure that you have disabled file-sharing
This will ensure that if you get hit, the ransomware will stay in your machine only.
#12 Consider disabling remote services
Otherwise, you will have a chance that the threat could go across your whole network, which can cause serious security issues for the environment if your computer happens to be a part of it.
#13 Be sure to turn off any unused wireless connections like infrared ports or Bluetooth
There are some cases where Bluetooth can be exploited for compromising your machine.
Because ransomware is the biggest cyber issue due to the damage that it causes as well as the prevalence factor, the above countermeasures are a must.