How To Prevent Ransomware Attacks

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How To Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware really came into light in 2017 during the rapid spread of WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya. Since then, it has turned into a major concern for organisations, businesses, or regular netizens like you and me. Companies are said to lose about $400 billion to hackers each year (and this was based on 2015 figures!)

In fact, Digital Trends claims that hackers are now favouring ransomware over personal data theft. In the past, hackers made the majority of their money finding ways to sell stolen data such as your credit card number. But with companies getting better at fraud detection, the price for stolen data has dropped in recent years.

Meanwhile, the average ransomware demand has skyrocketed, which means the payoff for these attacks can be massive. The average stolen credit card price in 2016 was $6, where the average ransomware demand in 2017 was around $1,077!



Imagine this: you log onto your computer hoping to get some work done, only to see your screen locked and your device unable to boot up. Instead, a message demanding money or cryptocurrency appears instead. It is the moment that every user dreads: ransomware.

Ransomware is a form of malicious software or malware which restricts access to your computer or mobile device. It works by encrypting your data until you pay a ransom in exchange for assessing your device or data again.

Ransomware is a constantly evolving threat. Two forms of ransomware currently the most widely used around the world are Locker and Crypto ransomware.


Locker Ransomware:

Locker ransomware locks you out of basic computer functions, forcing you to pay a ransom to regain control.


Crypto Ransomware:

Crypto ransomware encrypts sensitive data like documents and important files, threatening to destroy them unless you pay a fee.



The three main ways ransomware can infect your computer is through spam mail, spear phishing, and watering hole attacks. Scareware tactics are also used to spread ransomware by creating fake software or messages purporting to be from a legitimate source, but actually demand that you pay a ransom to regain control of your computer.



As dangerous as ransomware is, you are not helpless against it. Here are a couple tips from BolehVPN on how to prevent ransomware attacks:

  • Firstly, the FBI advices that you do not pay the ransom if you are infected because even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee for the hackers to honour their word. Many feel that it will only embolden the hackers to strike again.
  • If you are infected, turn off the infected device and take it to a professional data recovery specialist.
  • Hopefully you have also maintained a backup as the restoration of any impacted files is the fastest way to regain access to your data. So be sure to back up important data in an alternate device and keep it unplugged and stored away.
  • Browsing the internet on a secure VPN like BolehVPN, especially on public Wifi, helps protect you against malware that targets online access points. Nonetheless, while a VPN encrypts your online activity, it cannot stop you if you are downloading a malware.
  • Hence, do not open anything suspicious. Malware-infected links and attachments from unknown sources could lead you to fake websites requesting personal information.
  • Maintaining a strong firewall and antivirus patches up to date are critical as malware and infections are constantly evolving to find new ways to attack you.


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