Have you ever heard of ‘ransomware’? If not, now is the time to become familiar with the concept, as a particularly devious piece of ransomware is making its way around the Internet.
Ransomware is an illicit computer program that is placed on your computer when you download infected files. The program, once on your computer, encrypts your files with a secret key, making them unusable unless you know the key.
The catch? To de-encrypt your files, you need to pay $500 to the creators of the program. It’s a ransom, hence the name, ‘ransomware’. This particular version is called Cryptowall, and it’s making its rounds through the web.
How to Avoid Cryptowall
How can you make sure you steer clear of this nasty program?
There are two main ways Cryptowall gets on your system. The first is by downloading attachments that have been infected by the program. The second way is by clicking on advertisements that have been infected.
One tactic the creators of the program use to spread Cryptowall is by sending fake incoming fax reports, or sending emails informing users of a new voicemail. There are also suspicious-looking Dropbox links that are being sent out.
The same computer security principles that keep your computer clear of other viruses and programs can also help you avoid Cryptowall and other ransomware programs. Instruct your users to avoid clicking on any suspicious links sent to their email addresses. If it looks too good to be true – or if there is any question about the origins of the email – don’t download it or click on it.
Also, make sure your system’s antivirus and antimalware definitions and software are continually updated. Doing so will give your computer a robust barrier against intrusion and give you warning about anything you’re about to download or install.
Additionally, be sure to back up your data regularly. Creating a safe and clean copy of your data gives you a way to restore your data in the event your files become compromised by this program or any other illicit program. We cannot stress enough how important it is to back up your files and your data, to protect them not just from Cryptowall and other dangerous programs, but also from emergency disasters and other situations. Contact us for more information on our data backup and recovery services, and call us for a free backup assessment.
By being vigilant and taking proper precautions, you can avoid paying ransom for your files and stay away from Cryptowall.