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Ransomware: 6 Things You Can Do

Ransomware once afflicted primarily consumers, but it has evolved into a business threat—one all employees must watch out for.  Here are some tips to help protect both your personal data and that belonging to your organization:

1. Don’t pay the ransom.  It only encourages and funds the attackers.  Even if the ransom is paid, there’s no guarantee you’ll regain access to your files.

2. Restore impacted files from a known good backup.  Restoration of your files from a backup is the fastest way to regain access to your data.  Remember, you need to back up data regularly before disaster strikes.

3. Don’t provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message, or instant message.  Phishers will try to trick you into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from the IT department. Contact your manager and IT if you or your coworkers receive suspicious calls.

4. Use reputable antivirus software and a firewall.  Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical.  It’s important to use antivirus software from a reputable company because of all the fake software out there.

5. Make sure all your software is up to date with relevant patches.  “Exploit kits” hosted on compromised websites are commonly used to spread malware.  Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection.

6. If traveling, alert your IT department beforehand, especially if you’re going to be using public wireless Internet.  If possible, make sure you use a trustworthy virtual private network when accessing public wifi.

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