When a business is hit by a ransomware attack, they typically report the incident quickly, though a full analysis of what was affected and how extensive the breach may have been can take much longer. Once they have the necessary details, they can reach out to their customers via email, through updates on their site, social media, or even the press to let them know what customer data might be at risk. Paying attention to official communications through these various channels is the best way to know if you have been affected by a ransomware attack.

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1. Create backups

If you fall victim to ransomware, it’s a good idea to immediately disconnect any infected devices from your networks to prevent the problem from spreading. This means that the ransomware will lock your files and you will not be able to move the infected ones. Therefore, it is essential that you always have backup copies of them, preferably in the cloud and on an external hard drive. This way, if your computer gets infected with ransomware, you can clean it and reinstall your files from backup. Backups protect your data and you won’t be tempted to pay ransom to malware authors. Backups won’t prevent ransomware, but they can mitigate the risks.

2. Change your credentials

If you discover that a company you’ve been associated with has been the victim of a data breach or ransomware attack, act immediately and change the passwords on all your accounts. And while you’re at it, go the extra mile and create passwords that are really hard to guess, according to the next tip.

3. Take password protection seriously

When updating your credentials, you should always ensure that your password is strong, unique, and unique. Many users use the same password or variations of it for all of their accounts. So be sure to diversify your access codes to ensure hackers can’t gain access to all your accounts at once, in case one password is compromised. You can also use a password manager to keep track of your credentials and generate secure login keys.

4. Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security by requiring multiple forms of verification. For example, you will be asked to verify your identity through another device, such as a phone. This reduces the risk of identity theft by hackers.

5. Browse safely online

Be careful where you click. Don’t respond to emails and texts from people you don’t know, and only download apps from trusted sources. This is important as malware authors often use social engineering to convince you to install dangerous files. Using a security extension in your web browser is one way to browse more securely.

6. Only use secure networks

Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as many of them are not secure and cybercriminals can spy on your Internet activities. Instead, consider installing a VPN, which gives you a secure Internet connection no matter where you go.

7. Never pay the ransom

While it is often large organizations that fall victim to ransomware attacks, you too can be targeted by a ransomware campaign. If this happens, do not pay the ransom. Although you may feel at the time that this is the only way to recover your encrypted files, there is no guarantee that the ransomware developers will send you the decryption code once they receive the payment. The ransom payment also contributes to the development of more types of ransomware, so it is better not to pay at all. Fortunately, there are free resources dedicated to helping you, such as McAfee’s No More Ransomware initiative. McAfee, along with other organizations, created www.nomoreransom.org/ to educate the public about ransomware and, more importantly, to provide decryption tools to help people recover locked files. On the site, you will find decryption tools for many types of ransomware, including Shade ransomware.

8. Use a comprehensive security solution

Adding an extra layer of security with a solution like total Protection, which includes Ransom Guard, can help protect your devices from these cyber threats. Also, make sure to update your device software (including security software!) promptly and frequently, as each update usually includes patches for system vulnerabilities. Comprehensive security solutions also include many of the tools we mentioned above and are simply the easiest way to ensure digital wellbeing online.

Whatever the case is, feel free to give Octo Digital Forensics a call at 1-800-HUGEWIN (800)484-3946