- October 5th, 2016
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Online Safety, PC security
Backing up has become more important than ever, thanks to ransomware. If you are a regular reader, you already know how pervasive and frustrating ransomware can be. If you’re new to the scene, here’s a bit of background into the malware world: Ransomware is the hottest new attack method.
It can be pulled off with alarming ease, only requiring a hacker to purchase a premade ransomware kit from malware creators on the dark web. They then distribute the rotten code through either email attachments, or can infiltrate systems through holes, or vulnerabilities in outdated software.
When the ransomware code is executed by clicking the infected link in an email, it begins to encrypt all files on your computer or device. At that point, you’ll receive a notice from the ransomware creators stating that your files have been encrypted and if you want to retrieve them, you’ll need to pay about 1-2 bitcoins or $400-800. Do you pay up or stand your ground? Here at ZoneAlarm, we are all for standing your ground. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that once your files have been encrypted, they can only be unencrypted with the correlating key which only the hackers now have.
If you have been diligent in backing up your files, data, pictures and whatever else you have that’s precious to you, then you can stand your ground and walk away. Before we delve into the different backup methods out there, it’s important to note that you should have more than one backup of your files stored in different places to confidently ensure that you are covered.
Types of backup
Local backup – Your other option is to back up to an external hard drive or a flash drive. This method is slightly less user-friendly as it cannot be done automatically. External hard drives are sometimes too large to carry around and flash drives are so small that they tend to get lost easily. It’s never a bad idea to have a physical backup of your files, it’s just not necessarily the most convenient.
Cloud-based backup – You are probably familiar with cloud storage like Google Drive and DropBox. The idea here is that your files are stored in a cloud that can be accessed from anywhere that you can log into your account. These services are great for sharing pictures and collaborating on documents and presentations, but they aren’t designed for heavy duty or automatic backup. Instead, look for a cloud based backup that automatically backs up all your files and folders. Some of the best plans out there are Crashplan , Backblaze, Spideroak, iDrive, and they use high degrees of encryption to protect the data they store.
When it comes to ransomware, it’s better to backup, and not to pay. Here are some important features to look out for:
- Unlimited storage
- Folder syncing and sharing
- Continuous automatic backup throughout the day
- Available for smartphone
Have peace of mind that you can always stand your ground against ransomware when you find a cloud-based backup that fits your needs!