Ransomware prevention tips

Loss Control Insights for Schools

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files and then requires payment to be removed. It has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. Schools should not ignore the recent rise of ransomware. Just this year, a school in South Carolina agreed to pay $8,500 to regain access to its servers.

Phishing emails with malicious attachments are a common way to spread ransomware. These emails may contain intimidating messages, such as:

  • “Your computer has been infected by a virus. To resolve the problem, click here
  • Your computer was used to access illegal websites. You must pay $100 to unlock your computer.
  • All files on your computer are encrypted. To regain your data access, you must pay this ransom within 72-hours.

Schools are often left with little choice but to pay ransom to get their data back. Schools should take preventive measures to stop ransomware from getting into their computers. These tips will help schools increase their defense against ransomware.

Backup Files

Backups are the best defense against ransomware attacks. Files must be stored somewhere other than the computer where cybercriminals can’t access them. If you become a ransomware victim, you won’t need to pay ransom to get the encrypted data back. Make sure you test your backups frequently. Backup files only work if you can restore your data from them.

Keep your Anti-Virus and Malware Software up-to-date

Anti-virus software is a must to stop any attempted hacking. You can protect yourself from new threats by regularly updating your anti-virus software. Filter out emails with attachments containing.exe files and set your computer’s file extension detection to hide them. Ransomware can be delivered in multiple file extensions, such as example.pdf.exe.

Make sure your Operating Systems and Software are up-to-date

Ransomware exploits vulnerabilities in older operating systems and software systems. You are at risk of being attacked if you don’t update your software as soon as they become available.

Limit PC use

Only authorized users should have access to your computers. They should be locked so that no one can access them.

Train employees

Ransomware attacks often start with a phishing email’s crucial for your staff to be aware of what they might beLook like. Your employees should be aware that suspicious emails may come from unknown senders and they should not click on unwelcome links. Also, it’s important employees not enable macros in documents received via email. Ransomware infections that infect computers with ransomware depend on users turning off macros.

What to do if you are a victim of ransomware?

You should immediately turn off infected computers and disconnect them from the network if you are subject to ransomware attacks. A virus can cause the computer to shut down all of its peers on the network. Call an IT professional right away.