Internet has become a staple past time for billions of people all over the world. It’s not that surprising how many people just love the Internet so much since it contains almost everything a person could ever ask for. In addition to that, the Internet provides convenience to each user. To many, the Internet may be a place where they can find comfort and recreation. However, the Internet is nowhere near being a safe haven.
Together with the virtual world’s advancement, the risks and dangers of using the Internet have also increased exponentially. Compared to previous years, when computers were still considered an item of luxury rather than a necessity, the cases of Internet-related frauds significantly increased this year. The reason for this is the presence of innumerable malwares, loopholes and viruses in the virtual world.
Recently, fraudsters have become too blunt and bold when committing illicit activities that affect millions of lives. One of the most alarming problems you might encounter while connecting to the Internet is becoming a victim of Ransomware. Explaining briefly, Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is used by fraudsters to blackmail target victims. It’s saddening how many people have fallen victim to these fraudsters because of the lack of knowledge on how to protect their devices and personal information from these threats. In this post, you will know of various ways on how you can still have privacy while connecting to the Internet.
Distinction between Ransomware and other Malware
Ransomware is typically a new type of malicious software that takes advantage of people who are poorly protecting their devices and personal information from prying eyes and hackers. This relatively new type of malicious software is so different from other malware that you are probably aware of.
Ransomware is a unique fraudulent scheme especially designed to extract money from the victim. Ransomware targets almost all types of files, and it can even affect your hard drive, too. This malicious software denies access to files and device features to the user. When your device gets infected by Ransomware, you cannot access your own files or you will be threatened that your private files will be published, until you pay ransom (hence its name). Your files and personal data has now become a hostage of ruthless fraudsters.
The bad thing about Ransomware is that it’s hard to reverse its effects, unless you are a computer-expert. When you fall victim to Rasomware, your files will be encrypted by fraudsters and ask you to pay some sort of ransom for the decryption code. If you don’t pay up, these fraudsters may never give you access to your files again, or worst, publish confidential and personal information about you. However, paying the ransom also doesn’t guarantee that you can regain access to the files, or that it hasn’t been distributed online yet.
Preventing Ransomware from Infecting Your Files and Devices
Actually, victims of Ransomware are left with little to no choice, after the malicious software corrupt the files. However, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of Ransomware. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid Ransomware:
1. Backing up your files
Ransomware denies access to your files, so the best thing that you can do is to back it up all the time. When you have back up on your files, you never have to worry about paying a ransom since you can always access your backup files instead of the original files. However, this doesn’t solve threats to confidentiality and privacy.
2. Be careful what you click
For Ransomware to work, it needs to be downloaded to your device. The moment this malware is downloaded to your device, hackers will have the opportunity to encrypt your files. This malware can be downloaded through email phishing, online ads, and fake websites. So the next time you use the Internet, don’t be too trusting and be wary of the links you click and the sites you visit.
3. Using a VPN
A VPN can offer great security for your files and device, only if the device isn’t affected by the malware yet. The VPN works as prevention rather than a solution.
4. Installing a good Anti-Virus software
Malwares are also considered viruses, so a good anti-virus software can help you prevent downloading malwares or help you delete the malwares from your system.
5. Never pay the ransom
Paying the ransom will only encourage fraudsters to keep doing illicit activities. There is no assurance that you will get your files back even after you pay the ransom, so why bother? In case Ransomware doesn’t let you use your computer at all, then you can go to computer shops and have your computer fixed by expert technicians.
VPN to Prevent Ransomware Outbreak
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates a more secure environment for Internet users. One of the most beneficial features of a VPN service is strong encryption. While using the VPN service, all your logs and surfing activity will be encrypted so that no one can touch it while it’s being transmitted through the traffic. Even if you connect to public hotspots, your device will stay protected as your IP address becomes invisible to the eyes of other users, even the host. However, a VPN is not enough to protect you from downloading malicious files and viruses. You just need to be careful in downloading contents to your computer because a VPN cannot provide a solution to Ransomware, but only LIMITED PREVENTION. You can check this list of a few VPN services that we recommend.
Conclusion: Protecting Yourself from Ransomware
Since Ransomware is becoming too widespread, you have to be extra careful, at all times, when using the Internet. Being aware of the potential threats of Ransomware will minimize your chances of falling victim to it. As much as possible, always back up your files so that whenever the worst-case scenario happens, you will have a way to access your files again. In addition to that, installing good anti-virus and VPN services will help you lower the chances of being infected with Ransomware.