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Expert tips to avoid falling victim to ransomware

Jeffrey Esposito, Director, North America Social Media, Kaspersky Lab | June 1, 2016
Despite the fact that big businesses and local governments have been recent targets of ransomware, they are far from the only ones who have to worry.

Have a Security Solution

When you think about security, you probably fall into one of three buckets. The first is that you buy into the hype that anti-virus programmes are dead and provide little use. The second thinking that this is a PC only issue and something that could not hurt their beloved smartphone or Mac. Or third, that I need to make sure I have security solutions for all of my devices.

If you are in the first two scenarios, you need to rethink your stance. When a type of malware or ransomware has a known signature, third-party solutions (like Kaspersky Total Security) can stop you from clicking a link or opening up a malicious file that it detects. Our research, along with industry peers, has shown that not only are Macs susceptible to ransomware, but so are phones.

Mobile devices could also be more at risk given the amount of personal information, financial apps and digital memories that are stored on them.

What Can I Do if I Get Ransomware?

Overall, I do not suggest that you pay the ransom. There are a number of tools out there that can help you decrypt a certain ransomware variant. Kaspersky Lab tools that can help victims of the CoinVault and Bitcryptor campaigns, as well as the recent CryptXXX variants of ransomware that will not cost you. There are also others from other companies in the security space. Doing some research could save you some money and time, if you have a type of ransomware with a known free cure.

What's Next?

When GReAT rolled out our predictions for security trends for the coming year on Securelist, my colleague Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade noted:

"Not only do we expect ransomware to gain ground on banking Trojans, but we also expect it to transition into other platforms. Weak attempts at bringing ransomware to mobile and Linux have already been witnessed, but perhaps the more desirable target platform is OS X. We expect ransomware to cross the Rubicon to not only target Macs but also charge 'Mac prices'. Then, in the longer term, there is the likelihood of IoT ransomware, begging the question, how much would you be willing to pay to regain access to your TV programming? Your fridge? Your car?"

What does this mean for you? For starters, you should follow these tips and also educate yourself with what is going on in the cybersecurity space. 


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