I’m an avid reader of all things tech, and every one in a while an article comes along that is so brilliantly simple, its worth sharing.  Here’s the original article if interested in reading it.

8 tips for preventing ransomware

To sum up the article quickly, here are the 8 tips:

  1. Backup your files regularly and keep a copy off-site or offline
  2. Don’t enable macros
  3. Consider installing Microsoft Office viewers
    1. Turn on “disable internet macros” if running Office 2016
  4. Be very careful about opening unsolicited attachments
  5. Don’t give yourself more login power than necessary
    1. E.g. – Administrator is not required for normal operations
  6. Patch, patch, patch
  7. Train and retrain employees in your business
    1. Not really applicable to home users 🙂
  8. Segment the company network
    1. This works for home users as well

Protecting yourself isn’t really that hard to be honest.  It’s more behavior conditioning than anything else.  For instance, I’ve been around the block so many times with crap like this, I question everything that doesn’t seem right.  For a novice user, it’s the same method.  Say one day, you get an email from FedEx asking you to review an invoice.  Did you ship anything?  Does the logo look right?  Are URLs in the email going to the appropriate places (www.fedex.com/blahblah)?  If any of the answers are “No”, chances are its crap and will likely result in some nasty infection or ransomware.  Just delete it.

I’ve been running without commercial (paid) anti-virus/anti-malware software for more than 3 years now without a single infection.  You can too (looking at the McAfee and Norton users out there) with a little thought before blindly clicking a link.  If you do by some chance get encryption ransomware, the fact you had an offline/offsite backup of your data turns what could be an expensive proposition into one that only take a few hours of your time.  Just reformat, reinstall, and restore.