Ransomware is a type of malicious code that is designed to lock up your computer and encrypt your data till you pay some bad guy. Typically ransomware spreads through emails or by visiting a website that has bad code on it because it has been hacked or maybe because it was designed by the bad actors who wrote the ransomware.
This type of malware threatens businesses and governments, and that is what gets the most press. But it also attacks home users. Anyone is at risk.
To reduce the chance that your home computers get ransomware do the following:
Be sure you are using a modern computer and up to date operating system. If you are on an old rickety PC running an old operating system it will be almost impossible for you to avoid infection. New computers can be expensive, but keep in mind they will last you for years.
Be sure to turn on your computer’s ability to automatically install updates.
- If you have a Windows based system, click the Start button, then Settings, then Update, then Windows Update. Then select Advanced Options and under Choose how updates are installed select “Automatic”.
- If you have a Mac, click Systems Preferences, Software Updates, and check “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”
Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
Backup your data, make copies of it to store other places, and if it is really important, print it out!
Run anti-virus software on your system, and keep your subscription up to date to make sure you get the latest signature files downloaded.
Stay up to speed on the many other related aspects of home cybersecurity here.