Are You Smarter Than Ransomware? You Can Be with These 4 Tips
Backup all your devices - This is a reasonably simple task. External hard drives are getting less expensive all the time and they come with essentially plug-and-play technology. If you don’t want to do that, just back up your important documents and files to a USB drive and store whichever method you use separately from your computer.
Update software and firmware - Unfortunately patching and updating software seems to be lower on the priority list than it should be. While most personal devices have automatic update functionality, in businesses this is often not enabled. However, it’s important to do this whether at home or at the office. Create a patching schedule for non-critical and security updates and if you see an indicator on your smartphone that an update is available, apply it if it isn’t automatic. When vulnerabilities are found that can cause security issues, update as soon as the patch is released. Don’t forget the hardware. As soon as a new piece of hardware is installed, be it at home or the office, update it and change the default password.
Don’t take the bait - Ransomware is often delivered via phishing. This can come in email messages, social media feeds, or even in adware. If a link arrives in email unexpectedly or from someone unknown, don’t click it. Also avoid clicking adware and links in social media. Those are often scams and clickbait just to lure you to the hook.
Leave work at the office - A Security survey from January found that nearly one-third of IT security personnel were asked to remove some sort of malware from an executive’s computer. Family members were blamed. Keep work data and files separate from private ones. Also, teach family members good computing habits, even if they don’t use the work laptop or mobile device. It also never hurts to start teaching kids early how to keep information safe.