Technology products exist to facilitate human achievement. One of them is the computer, which helps us not only get things done but also store our valuable data. However, besides the convenience that we have gained, there are also risks to be aware of.
You must have been familiar with the names of viruses, such as Trojans that often infect Windows systems. If you do not have adequate antivirus, viruses on the computer can get rid of your important data, even weaken your PC or laptop function.
Another problem threatening your data security is ransomware. Besides making data disappearing, ransomware can harm you in different aspects. To have a better understanding of what ransomware is and how to deal with it, take a look at some explanations below.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that can take over PC’s control and prevent its users from accessing their data. The ransomware creators or the attackers will usually ask their victims to pay a ransom to access the data. Although the amount is not as much as malware or viruses, ransomware can cause significant losses and leave trauma to the victims.
One of the worldwide ransomware is Wannacry. It infects various big companies in the world and causes massive losses. The victims were asked for some money to get their data back. This outbreak is a terror for PC users and increases users’ awareness of data backup.
One of Wannacry’s ransomware victims in Indonesia is the Dharmais Cancer Hospital in Jakarta. As a result of the ransomware, there is a buildup of patients since the information technology system cannot run smoothly. According to the hospital, the attackers requested a ransom of around Rp4,000,000.
After knowing the tremendous impact of ransomware, it is important to have preventive measures to save users’ data. Thus, the users will stay calm and carry out their activities as usual if ransomware attacks.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Hackers usually send ransomware via email with contents that convince potential victims to click on the link they sent. The link will direct the user to download an attachment containing malicious software. After successfully installing the software on the computer, the attackers can control and even steal the user data.
The attackers do not target victims individually. They attack based on email lists or websites that they have aimed. In other words, they strike in a massive scale. Many ransomware creators allow one victim to experience more than one attack from different attackers.
Even if the victims do not pay the ransom, the attackers will always try to steal their valuable data from the devices they are targeting. They can take all sensitive data, such as user names, passwords, payment information, addresses, e-mails, contacts, and various other information for some purposes. It makes ransomware very detrimental to its victims.
How to Prevent Ransomware?
Many companies or users have not protected their devices from ransomware, as they have built security to prevent malware and viruses. However, their security cannot cope with the attacks properly, causing many losses due to ransomware. Here are some simple steps that companies can take as mitigation for ransomware protection Windows 10.
- Do Backup Data Regularly
The first thing that you must do is to backup data consistently. This step is useful to reduce the attackers’ access to your valuable data. At least, you still have access to data backup. Thus, ransomware attacks will not affect your work.
- Be Wary of Emails, Messages, or Websites that Strangers Send
It is best to avoid clicking links sent by strangers or on illegal download sites. You should also be careful if you receive e-mails or strange messages directing you to click on some links. As have mentioned earlier, attackers usually send ransomware using the link to infect your devices.
- Activate Firewall
Activating the firewall is one of the most important prevention steps. In this case, the firewall is the initial computer defense. Its function is to control outside access to your private network. By activating the firewall, the computer can automatically block unknown access which might be dangerous for your data.
- Install Antivirus
Antivirus will help you detect malicious programs on your computer. If you are a home user who has a limited budget, install the trial or free version. However, if you work for a big company and save a lot of valuable data concerning many people, you should install the paid version.
Those are some preventative steps for Windows ransomware protection. You can reduce the risk of losses due to ransomware by doing some steps above. Do note that you also need to know some necessary steps to remove ransomware if you experience the attack.
How to remove ransomware?
If ransomware infects your device, you can try the following ways to remove it.
- Use Antivirus
To remove ransomware using antivirus, you must first remove the hard drive from your laptop or PC. After that, attach it to the other laptop that has been equipped by ransomware-killing antiviruses, such as Kaspersky or ESET. Do a scan to delete the virus on the hard drive.
- Remove Manually
First of all, turn off your internet connection. After that, delete your browser cookies. Enter your Windows using Safe Mode and open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Next, open the Process Tab and click End Process for programs that you think suspicious. Open the Startup menu and disable all the applications that you have end-tasked earlier. Finally, open the Registry Editor and delete all suspicious files.
- Reinstall Your Windows
The last way you can do to remove ransomware is to reinstall your Windows. You need a Windows operating system CD or USB bootable. To avoid similar incidents, you should install an antivirus after reinstalling the Windows.
Those are some ransomware protection Windows 10 you can do. As a side note, you cannot open the previously infected files. Therefore, do backup data to avoid losing your important files.