Your online privacy is directly linked to the security of your personal information. Think about it: If a cybercriminal were to apprehend your PayPal credentials or the login information for your email, you would experience a significant disruption in your daily life. Protecting yourself online has become more essential in recent years, with potential risks waiting around every corner of the Internet. One of the most dangerous threats that you experience is ransomware, which involves cybercriminals holding your personal information for ransom. Below, we’ll discuss some of the best ways you can protect yourself against ransomware and how to keep your private data secure.

What is Ransomware?

First, let’s define what exactly ransomware is and how it works.

Ransomware is a form of malware that prevents you from accessing a device or specific files until a financial ransom is paid. This variety of malicious software encrypts your computer, phone, tablet, or your private files, preventing you from accessing them at all. Depending on the type of ransomware used, the encrypted files will have extensions added to them like:

  • .aaa 
  • .crypt
  • .cryptolocker
  • .encrypted
  • .locky 
  • .micro
  • .petya
  • .ttt, 
  • .vault
  • .xyz
  • .zzz

Ransomware is typically delivered through phishing emails that look like they are coming from legitimate businesses or organizations, prompting the user to download a certain file. Once downloaded, the threat actor will often instruct the user who is under attack to pay a certain amount of money, usually through cryptocurrency, to release the encrypted files. 

In many cases, ransomware attacks target businesses or business owners. However, criminals have been known to attack individuals with this type of threat, and it can cause massive financial and personal damage.

Protect Yourself Against Ransomware

Ensuring that you remain safe against ransomware may seem challenging, given the nature of the threat, but there are many ways to ensure that your data remains safe. Let’s take a look at some of the proven methods of protecting yourself against ransomware. 

First, it’s important to regularly back up all of your important information on secure, separate hard drives. Make sure that these hard drives are independent of the device network you typically use so that, in the event of an emergency, there is a lower risk of important data being compromised.

Next, password-protect your files with strong, unique passwords. Remember not to use any easily identifiable passphrases, and ensure that each of these passwords is different. If your files are encrypted by a cybercriminal, you want to minimize the possible damage by protecting other credentials that might share a password.

Finally, one of the best ways to give yourself additional security against invasive ransomware is to use a reliable VPN. With a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you can protect your identity and encrypt your online traffic with a simple app. By encrypting your activity, VPNs prevent the deployment of ransomware onto a specific device, which makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to launch their attack.

What to Do After a Ransomware Attack

According to the CISA (The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), you should immediately report a ransomware attack to your local FBI office or U.S. Secret Service office for additional help. These organizations can help you rectify the situation in a timely manner so that the potential damage is minimized. 

With threats like ransomware, it’s essential to tackle the issue as soon as possible to prevent further risks. If you work in an office environment, be sure to also inform your IT department in case there are other steps that need to be taken. They can help walk you through the process of reporting the ransomware to the appropriate authorities and ensure the protection of your data.

Stay Safe Online with PrivadoVPN

Protecting yourself online has become more essential in recent years as we integrate more technology into our everyday lives. Don’t leave your online security and privacy to chance. Get a solid, reliable VPN that can help defend your devices against threats like malware and phishing attacks, as well as invasive ads and other potential threats to your privacy. 

PrivadoVPN offers comprehensive protection and security solutions for a wide range of devices. We deliver high-quality privacy and enhanced encryption protocols to give you added peace of mind whether you’re at work, at home, or on the go. 

Give yourself the privacy and security you deserve today and sign up with PrivadoVPN

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