Ransomware and how we can protect ourselves.

Ransomware by definition is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. This type of software is used to take control of your computer and hold it and it’s contents hostage. However, what many people do not know is that this type of software can be used on any device that is online; that includes your cell phone, tablet, laptop and any other device that is accessible by the internet. In 2018, malware attacks on mobile devices increased by one third, as compared with 2017. More and more, people are relying on their mobile devices and the data stored there could be at risk.

You might be asking yourself, what would a ransomware attack on my mobile device look like? In some cases it could be a friend request on Facebook from an individual you do not know, or a request by a third party app to gain access to the files or contacts on your device. In some cases “form jacking” has been used by hackers to collect credit card information from payment forms of various e-commerce websites. The implication of these types of attacks is both terrifying and limitless.

So, the question remains, how do we protect ourselves from being held hostage? Here is what we suggest:

  1. Be careful who you give your financial and personal information to online. When you log onto a website to fill out a form, make sure there is a lock symbol to the left of the website address above. This indicates that the website has an SSL certficate and that the information you enter there is protected.
  2. Back up your data on a regular basis. This ensures that if you do fall victim to one of these attacks that you will simply need to reformat your system and rebuild it from when the last backup was completed.
  3. Protect your passwords at all times and do not share them with anyone, not even those close to you.

If you require any further information, please visit our website at www.itfirstaid.ca and fill out a contact form or book an appointment to speak with us.

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