9 Ways to Avoid Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a form of malware used by cyber criminals to freeze your computer or mobile device, steal your data and demand a “ransom” – typically anywhere from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars – be paid. Ransomware can affect individual computers or laptops, enterprise networks and or servers used by government agencies, financial institutions and healthcare providers. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod recommends the following tips to help individuals and businesses avoid ransomware attacks:

Tips for consumers:

  • Don’t click. Visiting unsafe, suspicious or fake websites can lead to the intrusion of malware. Be cautious when opening e-mails or attachments you don’t recognize even if the message comes from someone in your contact list.
  • Always back up your files. By maintaining offline copies of your personal information, ransomware scams will have a limited impact on you. If targeted, you will be less inclined to take heed to threats posed by cyber criminals.
  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
  • Enable popup blockers. To prevent popups, turn on popup blockers to avert unwanted ads, popups or browser malware from constantly appearing on your computer screen.

Tips for businesses:

  • Educate your employees. Employees can serve as a first line of defense to combat online threats and can actively help stop malware from infiltrating the organization’s system. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses aid tremendously in preventing these threats.
  • Manage the use of privileged accounts. Restrict users’ ability to install and run software applications on network devices, in an effort to limit your networks exposure to malware.
  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Backups are essential for lessening the impact of potential malware threats. Store the data in a separate device or offline in order to access it in the event of a ransomware attack.
  • Make sure all business devices are up to date. Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans so that your operating systems operate efficiently.
  • Contact your local FBI field office immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance.

As a customer of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, the security of your personal and account information is extremely important to us. Part of our approach to fraud prevention is keeping you, the customer, informed of current fraud trends and educating you on how to best protect yourself. By taking a proactive approach, we can ensure that your private information is protected. Another way we are #PositivelyDifferent from other banks on the Cape. Important: The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod will NEVER call you unsolicited to verify information about your account or personal information over the phone or via email. If you are contacted in such a manner, PLEASE do not give out this information and contact our Deposit Operations Department immediately at 508.568.3200 or 1.800.641.1100.