In 2016 alone, ransomware affected over 90 million individuals and businesses at an estimated rate of 400 attacks per minute. Yet 70 percent of these go unnoticed, according to TechRepublic. Cybercriminals use of ransomware show no signs of slowing down.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. According to Digital Trends, the average rate for a ransom has soared upwards from $294 in 2015 to $679 this year.
Studies show that nearly 50 percent of businesses have been hit with some type of ransomware, with 40 percent of those businesses paid the ransom. Studies also show that of the companies that went ahead and paid a ransom to a hacker, one in five never received their data back.
While ransomware is at an all-time high right now, it’s predicted that instances of attacks could double in 2017. So what precautions do need to take to keep your information safe? Wired offers four great tips on how to protect yourself from a ransomware attack.
- Backup all of your data. If your data is backed-up holding your information hostage is a worthless exercise for hackers.
- Be aware of suspicious emails and links.
- Patch and block. Keeping all of your software up-to date is important due to the vulnerabilities in third-party plug-ins such as Java and Flash.
- If you are ever infected, just disconnect. Disconnecting your networks keeps the ransomware from spreading and will leave it isolated in its initial infection.