Like many aspects of IT, cyber security is always in motion. No sooner do hackers develop a new method to launch attacks or breaches than security experts find new ways to block them, which hackers then set to work undermining. Few forms of attack have attracted more attention from both attackers and defenders than ransomware, or software that holds your files hostage. By taking proper security measures, you can keep your Mac safe from these and other harmful programs.
Rundown On Ransomware
Ransomware refers to programs that deny users access to their files, usually as leverage to make them pay a fee, or ransom. These programs may enter your system through hyperlinks or email attachments. They then prevent you from using key parts of your computer, either by encrypting individual files or, in rare cases, locking out the entire screen. Often designed by criminal syndicates or other powerful institutions, ransomware can be impossible to remove, forcing you to either pay the ransom or give up your device.
Although Apple advertises its products as being resistant to malware, the recent Transmission scandal demonstrates that ransomware is indeed a threat to Macs. In this instance, Mac users downloaded a ransomware program while attempting to torrent. The program waited a few days before locking them out of their files, letting them back in only in exchange for bitcoins. Given the growing popularity of Apple products, attacks of this kind are likely to become more common.
As serious as ransomware is, you need not be a security genius to avoid it. You can keep your devices safe through a few simple steps, namely:
In addition to preventing ransomware attacks, you can limit their impact if they do happen through redundancy. By making copies of key files and programs on separate devices, you let yourself quickly bounce back if an attack does succeed.