5 Tips To Protect You From Ransomware

What is ransomware? Ransomware is an advanced type of malware that infects your computer, gains control of your files and restricts your access until you pay a ransom to have your files restored. Here are five tips to keep you safe from a ransomware attack.

1: Keep your antivirus and firewall up to date! To prevent malicious activity on your computer, maintain a strong firewall and keep your antivirus software current.

  • What is a firewall? A firewall is a network security device (it can be hardware, software or both) that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and determines whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Firewalls provide a barrier between trusted and secure internal networks, and un-trusted outside networks such as the internet. Get firewall protection from Blackfoot for your home devices.
  • What is antivirus software? A type of program designed to prevent, detect and destroy computer viruses and malware. A few examples of common antivirus brands include McAfee and Norton. Get fully-supported web security and anti-virus protection from Blackfoot.

2: Enable your pop-up blocker! Pop-ups are a primary tactic used to infect computers. To minimize the chance of accidentally clicking on an infected ad, enable your browser’s pop-up blocker.

  • What is a pop-up blocker? Software that prevents pop-up windows from appearing on a webpage. Most internet browsers allow the user to turn the pop-up blocker on or off. Your pop-up blocker is likely already enabled. To double check, a quick Google search will show you the exact steps for your preferred browser.

3: Click carefully! Think twice when opening emails from an unknown sender. Specifically, look to see if you recognize the email address. Cyber criminals often create convincing emails that appear to come from trustworthy sources that hold financial or sensitive data. (Tip: Look for the sender’s company in their email address; such as how messages from Blackfoot come from emails that end in @blackfoot.com.) Scammers are clever and will use relevant subject lines and content in the email. If you don’t know the sender, do not click on any links found in the email. These links often lead to copycat websites which will steal your personal data when you input your username and password.

4: Be cautious when downloading! It’s easy to download anything you want to watch, listen or use. However, there are malicious websites with downloadable content that will infect your computer with malware. So, be vigilant when downloading content. Do you know the website you’re downloading from? Is the website secure? Check for a padlock on your browser window, or that the URL begins with https.

5: Backup your files regularly! You likely have files, photos, contacts and important information that you keep on your computer or device. To avoid losing files to a ransomware attack, we recommend regularly backing up important files to an alternative location, such as another device, a USB or external hard drive, or online file storage (Dropbox is a common solution). Blackfoot’s Tech Home plans include personal data backup for your files to help protect against damage or device failure.

If you need assistance, Blackfoot’s technical support team is available to help at 877-881-1155 or support@blackfoot.net.

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