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As anyone who’s experienced a ransomware attack can attest, this type of malicious software is no joke. After taking control of your computer, ransomware refuses to relinquish it until such time as certain demands are met. Unsurprisingly, these demands generally entail some manner of financial extortion. Depending on how severe an attack you’re dealing with, important documents and financial information could be irreparably compromised. This is why it’s important to take preventative measures against ransomware and ensure that it’s never able to manifest itself on your PC. Anyone looking to keep ransomware at bay for the foreseeable future should put the following measures to good use.

Invest in Dedicated Security Software

Dedicated security software can be an invaluable ally in your quest to avoid ransomware attacks. Dependable security software will not only help with ransomware removal, it will work in tandem with your operating system to provide your PC with protection against a mind-boggling variety of cyberthreats. However, this isn’t to say that all security software is created equal. To ensure that you wind up with a program that perfectly meets your needs, you’ll need to exercise discernment when searching for the right one. The software you ultimately select should be user-friendly, extremely secure and highly-rated. Furthermore, it should receive updates on a near-constant basis, thereby bolstering its defenses against a bevy of new and emerging threats. 

Use a Dependable Ad Blocker

Ransomware and other cumbersome viruses are often spread through ads. As such, stamping out unsafe ads should be among your foremost cybersecurity priorities. Fortunately, with the right ad blocker at your disposal, this shouldn’t prove terribly difficult. Depending on your preferred browser, its built-in ad-blocking features may be enough to guard against infected ads. Conversely, if said features are unable to provide the level of protection you’re looking for, seek out a reliable third-party ad blocker. Before proceeding to install one, however, do some online research to determine which of the many available ad blockers is best suited to your unique needs. As an added bonus, ad blockers can prevent ad servers from tracking you and helps webpages load faster.    

Engage in Smart Browsing Habits

Your browsing habits can play a large role in determining your level of risk for ransomware infection. That being the case, make a point of avoiding websites that trigger security warnings. Furthermore, before proceeding to visit a new site, confirm that it possesses both a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate and a trust seal. The former is indicated by an “S” following the “HTTPS” in a site’s web address, while the latter is represented by a padlock icon found to the left of web addresses. An SSL certificate signifies that user data is meticulously secured while moving from server to server, while a trust seal confirms that a site’s owners are working with dedicated security partners. Furthermore, clicking on a trust seal with reveal a bevy of useful info regarding a site’s security apparatus.

You can also avoid suspicious sites by not clicking on links from unfamiliar parties. This means approaching links found in emails, private messages and social media posts with extreme caution. Additionally, when presented with shortened links, which are often found on social media, take care to hover your cursor over the link to be presented with the full web address. 

Be Mindful of Where You Download Software

Being mindful of where you download software is another tenet of smart browsing. Since ransomware often manifests itself through infected installation files, it’s recommended that you only download software from sites that meet the strict security criteria discussed in the previous section. You can also provide yourself with additional peace of mind by running a quick threat scan on every installation file you download.

None of us can afford to take the active threat posed by ransomware lightly. Since a single ransomware infection stands to severely compromise one’s online security, there’s no time like the present to start taking preventative measures. Once ransomware finds its way onto your computer, the consequences can be devastating. As such, your goal should be to prevent it from ever manifesting itself on your system. In your quest to keep ransomware attacks at bay, take care to adopt the previously discussed precautions.  

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