8 Tips to Protect Yourself From ransomware

There is a good chance that you know someone who has suffered a ransomware attack. I could have happened to a family member, a friend, the local police or any other company or institution. If you have not suffered from the problem personally, you may have been very lucky or take the necessary steps to protect your computer and your files.

Much of the ransomware is distributed through Office documents that trick users into enabling macros

Prevention is much better than cure, so we offer the following eight tips to protect against ransomware.

1. Backs up frequently

The only backup you’ll regret not having done is the one you left for “another day”. Backups protect you from more things than ransomware: theft, fire, flooding, or accidental erasure. Make sure you cipher the backup so that only you can restore it and save a recent one in a safe place that is not in the same place as the computers.

2. Do not enable macros

Much of the ransomware is distributed through Office documents that trick users into enabling macros. Microsoft has just released a new tool in Office 2016 that can limit the functionality of macros by preventing them from activating documents you’ve downloaded from the Internet.

3. Value to install Microsoft Office viewers

These programs allow you to view a Word or Excel file without macros. These viewers do not support macros, so you cannot activate them by mistake.

4. Caution when opening unsolicited attachments

Most of the ransomware is in e-mail attachments. Extreme precautions when opening these files.

5. Do not give yourself more privileges than necessary

Log in as administrator for as long as needed. Avoid browsing or opening documents when connected to your computer as an administrator.

6. Update, update, update

Malware exploits vulnerabilities in software, but these usually have a workaround. It installs all the updates of your operating system and programs that you use.

7. Train Your Employees

Users are the weakest link in the security chain. Form them in safety to avoid problems.

8. Segment the local network

It separates the different areas with a firewall, so that the systems and services are only accessible when they are really necessary.

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