Halloween, the biggest highlight of autumn, is Just Around the Corner! When you are a kid, what’s your favorite part of Halloween? There’s no feeling quite like traveling from house to house in costumes and waiting for a stranger to open their door so you can scream the words “Trick or treat!” The “treat” is usually some form of candy. The “trick” refers to a threat, usually idle, to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.

“Encrypt or bitcoin?”

In your daily life, however, a “ghost” can suddenly knock at your computer and shout “Trick or treat!” Differently, this time the “ghost” threatens to encrypt your files if you don’t pay a ransom.

You must have guessed what the “ghost” is. Yes, it’s the obnoxious ransomware!

What is ransomware?

We have talked about ransomware before. It is a well-known form of malicious software. It locks and encrypts a victim’s computer data so it can demand a ransom, usually in the form of bitcoins, to restore access. In many cases, the victim must pay the cybercriminal before a deadline, otherwise the former may lose access forever. You may say, then just pay the ransom to get the files back. However, paying doesn’t ensure data restoration.

The dangers of ransomware

In recent years, ransomware has been growing in size, scale and sophistication. Its adverse influences include loss of data, loss of money, and reputational damage and so on. Hence, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself from a ransomware attack.

How to protect against ransomware?

To deter cybercriminals and protect your personal data, you should keep in mind these dos and don’ts:

Do use security software and keep it up to date. Besides, update your operating system and other software.

Do back up important data to an external hard drive. Ensure that backups are appropriately protected or stored offline so that attackers can’t access them.

Don’t automatically open email attachments. Bad actors may use email to deliver ransomware. Avoid opening emails and attachments from unfamiliar or untrusted sources.

Apart from computers, ransomware may also hit your mailbox and “scare” you. Your emails are all you have. Your business, job and memory are all tightly knitted into those messages. Yet you may lose them once they are attacked.

Don’t worry. Mr. Guard, an email vault for data backup and recovery, will help you. Mr. Guard ensures every single one of your email remains as they were – when your mailbox is unfortunately under attack and scrambled.

Free to try on Microsoft AppSource.