Encryption viruses, also known as ransomware, are one of the most common types of malware infections currently encountered, because they directly earn money for their creators through extortion. The software installs covertly, encrypting important files like office documents, business files, images and videos, without alerting the user to its presence.
Once the files are rendered unusable, the software demands payment to return them back to normal. While there are some instances where the encryption can be reversed by exploiting problems in the code or by paying the ransom, the best way to prevent damage to important files is through a strict backup routine.
Full daily backups to external devices are the best protection from encryption viruses. An external hard drive should be connected at the end of each day, then removed, with at least two separate drives to alternate from day to day. By using multiple devices, if a virus starts encrypting files, the chances will be higher that a clean backup will remain once the infection has been removed. Network-attached devices should not be used, as encryption viruses will map the local network, as well, encrypting any folders or drives that are accessible.
Cloud-based backup services are another option that can prevent the damage from encryption viruses, especially when used in conjunction with physical backups. Choose a service that offers daily backups and provides access to multiple file versions, allowing access to previous versions of files if the most recent were encrypted before uploading them.
In addition to regular backups, make sure both home and business computers are protected with antivirus software to prevent infections, and a firewall to stop unauthorized network activity or communications from potentially dangerous software.
If you need any assistance with coordinating physical and/or online backups, then contact Computer Solutions of Freehold today at 732-333-8275.