Have you ever received any ransom call from a kidnapper? Have you ever gave ransom money to the kidnappers in order to rescue you near or dear ones from them? Probably many of you have not faced such a situation in your life…but i am sure some of you have faced this thing. I also know that many of you will gonna call Police if you face this kind of situation in your life but some of you will not gonna take risk.
Now many of you are probably thinking that why i am talking about all this kidnapping, Ransom and Anti-Extortion….
Well today i am going to share something interesting with you guys…
What will you do when your computer got hijacked and the person who hijacked your system demands huge amount of money from you? Now many of you are probably thinking that we’ll format our system to get rid of that hijacker, but there are some cases where all your data is encrypted and you are told you must pay to get it back. Now in this case you cannot do anything until someone finds a cure for this.
Remember “Better Prevent Than Sorry“
Turning hijacked computers into cash is still a tough job for most cyber criminals, but now they have got the trick. They send lots and lots of spam, then trick a recipient into buying a useless products like rogue security software and so on…
It’s really much easier to just demand money directly from an infected users — a crime that’s the Internet’s equivalent of kidnapping.
Now a days cyber-extortionist are getting far more aggressive. Once a computer is infected with their ransomware, then it simply won’t let users continue to use their PC until they pay up.
So how does one make sure to not become a victim of bad guys? The sad answer is that you can never guarantee that it will not gonna happen to you or anyone else. You can implement measures and safeguard to decrease a likelihood it will happen and this is best one can hope for.
So, here is a small list of things to do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of bad guys.
1. Be updated (Patch Everything).
2. Backup, backup and backup often!
3. Use good quality Antivirus & Internet security software.
4. Don’t believe your computer is being getting scanned.
6. Consider Anti-Keylogger (eg. SpyShelter)
7. Learn to use Task Manager.
8. Stay informed
It really doesn’t matter if you use Windows, a Mac, Linux, or another operating system. Always keep your computer in shape by making sure all your software is updated and any security patches and upgrades available from software vendor, are properly applied as soon as or shortly after they are released. This is a very simple yet often overlooked advice to make sure your computer does not endure the breach.
Backup, backup and backup often !!
Backing up regularly and keeping copies of your backup separate from your computer is a great way to protect against losing data to viruses. other kind of security threats. By keeping regular backups, you’ll always be able to restore your files…
Use good quality Anti-virus & Internet security software
Good Anti Virus, Anti Spyware and Anti Spam protection is must. There are many low cost and even free resources available to fortify your PC from becoming getting infected, but for this you need to do a little research before you invest in a firewall, antivirus, and other security software. There are some usual names like McAfee – http://www.mcafee.com, Norton – http://www.symantec.com, Trend Micro – http://us.trendmicro.com, etc all these are paid security software. But if you want to have a free product than Avast – http://www.avast.com and Panda Cloud – http://www.cloudantivirus.com are real contenders with good detection and removal capabilities.
A word of caution. Some people will recommend using multiple Anti Virus engines. Although it is possible that they may interfere with each other and in the end let the dangerous stuff pass through. So, for an average home PC user, its good to stick with one good package. However, whatever you pick make sure your software is regularly updated as even best Anti Virus and Security program will not stop the virus if it does not know about it.
Don’t believe your computer is being getting scanned.
If you ever land on a web page and it starts scanning your computer, then keep in mind that it isn’t really scanning, it is only playing a video, but when you click on the pop-up then you run a major risk of infection. Once installed, the rogue anti-malware will start automatically each time you turn on your PC and log in to Windows. Then it will start scanning your computer and show you a list of fake infections. When you try to clean the infected files, you are prompted to buy the software.
Be careful, don’t believe on anything rogue software prompts to you and DO NOT delete the infected files found by it, because those are just legitimate files.
So if you land on such a web page that starts scanning your computer, than it is your first sign that it is time to close your browser. A reboot probably won’t hurt you either. If you don’t know about the company making that scanner, then don’t run it, install it, or purcahse it.
As an added measure of defense I would recommend you to use a program called SandboxIE. Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer. So if something like Ransomware or Rogue Anti-Virus gets in it is not able to attack the real files and is easily removed in virtually all cases. I also recommend you to use DefenseWall HIPS it really adds a valuable layer of protection in your system.
One of the most effective ways of stealing information is through a program that can easily be made to capture keystrokes. More sophisticated programs can capture everything a user sees on his screen when performing a screen capture: just the mere opening of a file can allow an information thief to steal your data and information about your system, which will help him to hijack your system easily. A good Anti-Keylogger can prevent you from getting captured from these nasty tools. You can use some good quality of Anti-Loggers like Spyshelter etc etc.
Learn to use Task Manager
Sometimes the rogue security software makes it very difficult to close the browser window. No matter what you click you can’t seem to stop the harassment or close the window. This is the time when you can go to task manager and close the browser window. If you press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC it will bring up the task manager and then from the “applications” tab you can close whatever browser you are using in your system by using End Task.
Always stay informed. Almost all security vendors maintain some sort of site that is dedicated to keeping track and informing consumers of current threats, levels of danger, etc. There are several sites that although less known than above mentioned vendor sites, have even more detailed info on above. http://www.Secunia.com is an excellent site with lots of pertinent information that is updated around the clock about current levels of threat, specific malware, virus and spyware dangers and combined security issues and bulletins from many of industry leaders in the filed.
Above of course, are just few tips of what one can do to keep their computer free and clean from spyware and viruses. Most important thing of all is to be aware of the risk and what harm it can do to you. But also knowing how to protect yourself and what to do if everything else fails and you discover your computer is infected, is also as important. I hope I have contributed at least something in raising your awareness and equipping yourself with tools and knowledge to fight the spam, spyware, viruses and other junk out there.
Stay Informed, Stay Safe.