Ransomware Attacks Quadrupled in 2016 and Will Double Again in 2017
David Weston, Cybersecurity Expert and Manager, Microsoft
(Redmond, WA, Tuesday, April 11, 2017) – In today’s digital world, consumers are losing $1 billion due to ransomware cyberattacks and are more at risk than ever of having their data stolen. Ransomware is a vicious form of malware that installs covertly on a victim’s device and holds their data hostage or threatens to publish their data unless the victim pays them. A growing threat – ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 and will double again in 2017.
In fact, according to data from Microsoft, the top 10 cities threatened by ransomware attacks are:
- SF Bay Area
- New York
- Los Angeles
How can you keep yourself safe? Microsoft recommends people avoid ransomware attacks a few ways:
1.) Always update your software to ensure you have the latest protections and your data is secure. TODAY, the newest version of Windows 10, Creators Update, will be available to everyone with advanced security features. This update provides app & browser control which warns you of potential malicious sites, downloads and unrecognized apps from the Internet. Family Options allows you to manage your kids’ time online by supervising screen time, providing online activity reports and managing app purchases.
2.) Avoid clicking on links and opening attachments or emails from people you don’t know, or companies you don’t conduct business with.
3.) Install anti-virus software to ensure maximum security (such as Microsoft Security Essentials)
4.) Set a calendar reminder to perform a regular backup of your important files with a cloud storage service that keeps a history or archive of your files