Being attacked by malware can be annoying in the best-case scenario or incredibly, it can be devastating in the worst case. Ransomware attacks fall closer to the worst-case scenario as they can affect not only the victim's data, but the cybercriminal will also demand something of value out of the problem as well. Attacks like these are very dangerous but can be prevented.
Read on to learn how you can protect your devices from ransomware attacks.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware holds your computer and the data stored in it hostage, How to Geek explained. Fr a safe return of your device and all the information in it, a ransom is demanded. Earlier forms of ransomware would restrict access to your computer entirely, but the more common approach now is to encrypt the data with a key that you don't know.
The ransom could be anything from cash sent by wire services like PayPal and gift card codes like Xbox gift cards. Some hackers would even demand cryptocurrency as it is anonymous and almost untraceable.
Some cybercriminals are so nefarious that even after the successful transfer of the ransom, your device and all its contents are not properly returned. In a research, ransomware is said to have cost the world $6 trillion in damages annually.
Ransomware can make its way to your device through file attachments from suspicious emails addresses, or any suspicious links sent to you from any messaging platform. Some third-party apps installed could also carry some viruses and malware.
6 Free Tools to Protect Your Devices from Ransomware
Protection from ransomware is always better than needing to address it when it happens. It is always best to keep your devices on top of the security updates offered by its company, as outdated software can expose security vulnerabilities.
As a precaution, it is best to always keep backups of your data to ensure that not everything is completely lost should a hacker hold it hostage.
Having antimalware tools is also imperative so you can nip the problem at the bud before it is too late.
6. Acronis Ransomware Protection
This free solution can go toe-to-toe with some of the "best" ransomware going around on the Internet, said Comparitech. This free tool is one of the best security solutions for zero-day attacks as well.
5. BitDefender Antivirus Plus
This is a comprehensive tool with real-time data protection from viruses, trojan, spyware, zero-day exploits and ransomware, Techie Gamers explained. It automatically blocks malicious URLs and known malware and tuns scans and makes sure only trusted programs can access files and folders. BitDefender offers a 30-day free trial so you can perform the necessary scans if you think you are being attacked.
4. Webroot Antivirus
With a 14-day free trial, this ransomware protection tool is great for older computers as it does not have a heavy impact on your system resources, only taking up around 500 megabytes of space. It can scan your computer 60 times faster than its competitors and includes features like webcam protection, real-time anti-phishing, and identity theft protection, Techie Games said.
3. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus
This attack prevention system is a vulnerability scanner and a patch manager. It offers free trials and works on a system hardening services to offer solid protection of your device, Comparitech said.
2. CrowdStrike Falcon Ransomware protection
This protection platform combines defense strategies to prevent any ransomware infection. It combines the functions of anti-virus software and firewalls to block ransomware and other malware. It has a 15-day trial.
1. NuShield Data Sentinel
This tool is more focused on the recovery phase after an attack, Techie Gamers explained. It comes in three editions: Free, Home, and Business.
To protect your data, attackers are made to believe that they are accessing your computer's original files. In reality, they are actually only seeing a mirror image of them.
After an attack, once you get your computer operational again, their one-click restore makes it easy to undo any negative changes allowing you to quickly regain access to your computer.