Pages Navigation Menu

Everything Personal Finance

3 Tips to Avoid Being Caught in a Global Ransomware Attack While Trading Online

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive.” –  Stephen Hawking

Few things are more destructive than being targeted by one of the latest ransomware viruses. By way of explanation, ransomware is a type of computer virus or malicious software application that takes over a vulnerable computer and locks the user out of their computer until they pay a ransom to the virus owner.

It is also one of the fastest growing cyber threats that is causing havoc on online business and national computer networks and systems to date. According to security experts, “Ransomware has spread with terrifying speed. This type of… “malicious software” … accounted for fewer than 2% of emails with malicious links or attachments in the fall of 2015…. By last fall, ransomware’s share had zoomed to a shocking 97%. Total ransomware losses in the U.S. hit $1 billion in 2016, up from $24 million in 2015.”

The latest ransomware known as WannaCry hit the world’s cyber systems on Friday 12 May 2017. Experts note that it’s on track to be one of the largest reported ransomware attacks ever, with tens of thousands of infected computers in nearly 100 countries.

WannaCry is mainly targeting business systems, where it can spread quickly through a network to take down a whole organisation. One of the reasons for this is because business often takes longer to install critical updates and patches, often to avoid impacting any legacy software they are running.

Cybercrime: The dangers of trading online while unprotected against computer virus attacks

There are many reasons why it is extremely dangerous to access the internet, especially your online trading account via an unprotected computer. In short, if you do not take extreme measures to keep your both your online and computer data safe, you run the risk of being targeted by cyber criminals such as hackers.

Not only is your computer at risk of being infected by ransomware which will lock you out of your computer, but you run the risk of your sensitive details such as online banking user details, online trading account details, and social security details being stolen as well as being vulnerable to identity theft. Finally, hackers might steal your computer resources to launch attacks on other computers.

Tips to help you secure your computer

Therefore, to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, here are several tips to help you make sure that you, your computer, your Internet connection, and your online trading partner’s network is adequately protected from ransomware, and other computer virus attacks:

Trade with a reputable online trading broker

It’s vital that you ensure that you open a trading account with an online trading partner who prioritises all of their clients’ online security. The Lionexo CTO notes that the company’s mission is to “ensure that online trading should first and foremost be safe & secure; therefore, we place a high priority on ensuring that our online trading platforms are maintained by security experts; thus, making sure that our clients’ data is protected at all times.”

Make daily backups of your files

The fact of the matter is that accidents happen to most of us, including the most digitally secure people. Let us assume for a moment that your computer has been affected by a ransomware worm. If you do not have up to date backups of all of your files, then you will be faced with one of two options: either lose all of your data or pay the ransom. Therefore, it is critical that you make more than one backup of all of your files every day. Should you get locked out of your computer, and you have daily backups, the worst that can happen is that you will lose your current work and you won’t need to pay the ransom to regain access to your files.

Be careful when acting on suspicious looking emails

It’s better to err on the side of caution and not open any emails that look suspicious. For ransomware to work, hackers need to download the virus onto your computer. Once the file has been downloaded, they can then launch their attack and encrypt all the files on your network. Furthermore, hackers make use of your email account to spread the virus to people in your email address book. Therefore, it is a good idea to treat all emails with suspicion, even those that you receive from friends or acquaintances.