The WannaCry malware (Ransomware) has infected hundreds and thousands of network from the healthcare sector to the business sector. It’s reported that more than 100 countries have been affected by the Ransomware. So what is Ransomware and how can you protect yourself against it?
Ransomware is a malware that locks up data on your computer or network. The Ransomware initiator is the one who sends the malware to the victim. Once gotten hold of the data, the initiator will demand money from the victim for data retrieval and in the recent case, Bitcoin, which is harder to trace.
To put it simply, someone kidnapped your data and you have to pay to get it back. If you don’t, the data will be deleted.
How should you protect yourself?
The best way to protect yourself is to not surf the Internet but it is impossible in this day and age. Hence, the best alternative is to separate your work computer from your surfing computer. This is what the Singapore government agencies have implemented recently and it is also a common practice in the Army.
If you don’t have a spare computer, the other alternative is to stop surfing suspicious websites or illegal websites. Plain simple. No more torrents, people!
The next thing you can do is to learn about the differences between a phishing email and a genuine email. Phishing emails are emails sent in disguise of genuine emails. It normally comes with a link or an attachment. Once, clicked or opened, the malware will have a data buffet on your computer. Most of the phishing emails have a key flaw – spelling mistakes. So when you see words that are spelled wrongly, this could be a sign of a phishing email. Of course, it could also be an email sent by someone who has bad grammar but it’s a sign, nonetheless.
Last trick up my sleeve that I always do first before opening an email is to click on the sender’s email to see the domain name and Google it to see it is legitimate. If not, off to the trash it goes!
Stay vigilant, friends of the Internet. Peace.
We are not saying that the antivirus or anti-malware tools out there are not able to detect or remove ransomware. They can detect abnormality that it deems suspicious and alerts you. But it is not equipped with an arsenal of “if and else” to fully prevent it from happening as the scenarios are always changing. In my opinion, it’s a 50-50 percent risk. This is not the odds you want, especially when you have all your work or business data on your computer.
Hence, your best bet is still to heed my advice in this article. If you have a better way, do share with me and I will share it with our readers.
Special thanks to Ma Chaw Chit for asking me about Ransomware removal tool and early intervention. 👍🏼