Ransomware is a computer virus that encrypts your data so it cannot be accessed until you pay the ransom. This past week we saw the largest cyber attack in history. “WannaCry” infected over 200,000 machines in 150 different countries including hospitals, universities, manufactures, and government agencies.
Educate yourself and your employees and back up your data to avoid becoming a victim of a ransomware attack.
Ransomware is often found in emails impersonating trusted companies like your bank, eBay or Amazon. These emails usually require a payment, update to your account, or password change, and will include an attachment or link. One click, and you’ve downloaded the ransomware! The trickiest thing is ransomware will usually hide for several days before becoming active.
Inspect the following three parts of an email before clicking on a link or opening an attachment:
- The Domain NameThe domain name comes after the “@” in an email address. For example, @amazon.com is a domain name that is easily identified as legitimate. These can sometimes be tricky. @emailinfo.bestbuy.com is a legitimate account that looks fake, and firstname.lastname@example.org is a spam account that looks real.
- Spelling and GrammarSpelling and grammar are usually not the attackers strong suit. Carefully read the email and look for run-on sentences, strange word choices, misspellings and grammatical errors.
- ContentDid you really win a contest you never entered? Nope! Would your bank send you an email about something really important? Probably not. Has a Nigerian Prince hand selected you to help him with a very important mission? Not likely. If it sounds too good (or too bad) to be true, it’s probably not – and the news would not come by email.
Avoid clicking on links or downloading documents directly from the email unless it is an expected link or attachment from a known source. If you’re not sure it’s legitimate, open a web browser and manually navigate to the site. Banking, insurance, shopping, and most other accounts with online access have ways to share important messages and documents securely online.
Do you need help protecting your business against ransomware? Give us a call!
Safe browsing, everyone!