The hacking of Colonial Pipeline was just one ransomware attack out of hundreds of millions conducted each year around the world. They range in magnitude from attacks on mom and pop shops on main street to government agencies.
Ransomware is a computer virus that hackers use to lock you out of your computer network, then they demand you pay a ransom to regain access. Here are three things you can do to defend yourself from a ransomware attack.
- Backup your computer systems frequently. If a hacker locks you out, you may be able to recover your system.
- Keep your apps and software up to date with the most current versions. Don’t put it off! Updates often contain security patches that protect you from attack.
- Don’t click on unsolicited links in your email. It may say it’s from your Aunt, but it could easily be from someone else who is trying to break into your system.
- Use virus protection software. It can keep you from making a mistake and accidentally giving a hacker access to your system.
If you are a victim of a ransomware attack, do not pay the attacker. Contact CISA, the United States cyber security agency, at: www.us-cert.gov/report.