5 Useful Preventions Against Computer Ransomware Attacks

2 January 2018

Many global corporations and Internet users were once victims of ransomware WannaCry, in just a few days WannaCry had rapidly spread in 150 countries. Over two hundred thousand users were infected with the ransomware, including the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Such globalised scale Internet attack also happened in Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team, there were over 30 cases of infection, mostly personal computer or Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

From computer virus, Year 2000 Problem, Trojan House to the recent hit of Ransomware, such computer attack is a form of malicious software (Malware), once infected there will be a system lock down, and it cannot be unlocked until the users pay its “ransom”. The amount of the ransom ranges from a few hundred Hong Kong Dollar to thousands Hong Kong Dollar, and the raise of Bitcoin further fostered the problem as it is now more difficult to track down the captive. For most internet attacks target Windows users, whether you are Windows 10 or XP users, you are easily exposed to threats and leave vulnerable when attacks like WannaCry occurs.


5 tips on protecting your computer properties


  1. Always back up the important documents


The trouble of ransomware is that it blocks your access to different files, however, if users backup their documents from time to time, it will lower the chance of losing important files. There are many ways of backup, organisations usually have a backup system in the servers, whereas individuals might backup through an external hard drive. Arguably, using an external hard drive might be more convenient, it does not stop any ransomware attacks.


A more secure method would be establishing a Cloud backup. Using the example of WannaCry ransomware attack, it targets the Windows system purposely. Fortunately, the cloud operation does not overlap with the Windows system operation, therefore it will not be affected by the ransomware attacks. Moreover, some automatic cloud backup system offers multiple backup up to 30 files. Even if your computer is infected with virus, you can still recover from an older version of the documents.


  1. Do not open suspicious email


A great amount of ransomware software are delivered in email form and spread from there, very often it contains message such as copy”,document”, “scan”, “file”, “PDF or exe”. If you are unsure with the sender address or apprehensive with the content, do not open or download from the suspicious email.


  1. Regularly update computer system and operating system


One of the reasons behind the outbreak of WannaCry ransomware is the lack of Windows updating, it allows hackers to attack through flaws in the systems. Especially for Windows’ users, a regular system update at its official website is recommended.


  1. Install antivirus software, scan for computer virus and clear junk mails


Everyone is aware of the importance of installing antivirus software on your device, nonetheless, many might not know the differences between them. There are many antivirus software on the market that cater to varieties of problems, such as filtering junk mails, anti-hacking, general antivirus etc. Each program has a solution towards a specific problem, it acts as a “Shield” for your device, and each “Shield” has a different purpose and size.


  1. Use a reliable Internet provider


It is essential for organisations to select a reliable Internet provider, for they can act as basic fundamental backup and provide help for your business when under attack.


As long as everyone backup regularly, install antivirus software and use a reliable Internet provider, SME shall not worry about hackers or other cyber-attacks!