Imagine starting your trading computer and seeing a message that your files are gone and you can get them back only if you pay. That’s how ransomware conducts business.
Ransomware holds your computer hostage by using hacking techniques. Your data becomes unusable until you pay. If you don’t pay, the hackers destroy your information.
As a trader, the information you have on your laptop or computer is an vital asset. So losing it can directly affect your wallet.
Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your data against ransomware attacks.
1. Avoid Unknown Emails
Everyone has opened unknown emails out of curiosity. If you are using a reliable email host, it’s okay to open an email. However, never open an attachment or click on a link from an unknown email.
Email attachments and links are effective methods for delivering malware and ransomware. Gmail’s malware checker will warn you about potential risks. Even if there is no warning, use your judgment.
The best policy is to delete emails you don’t recognize. If you are worried about losing a valid trading opportunity, use other mediums to verify the user is valid. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Use Better Passwords
Passwords are not perfect, but they are the best line of defense you have against ransomware. I have written previously about best practices for passwords.
Avoid using the same password for multiple sites. If ransomware gets hold of your computer, it shouldn’t be able to extrapolate the password for all your accounts.
3. Pay Attention to Social Media Security
Most people don’t realize how much information they are exposing through social media. They never update their privacy settings.
Are you using your mother’s maiden name for your security question? If your mother is in your network and she is using her maiden name, then a hacker can guess your security answer. Or maybe you use your dog’s name. And the name is all over your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account.
Social media companies are aware of the information leak problem. So they have set up privacy settings. Get acquainted with these settings and make sure you are not giving ransomware attackers an opportunity to guess your password for your trading computer or account.
4. Use Automatic Windows Update
Windows 10 regularly provides security patches and updates to keep you safe as new viruses and malware are created. If you have the update feature turned on, it will automatically take care of the downloads and installations.
People often turn off this feature. They don’t like the interruption. They plan to manually take care of it when they are free. But it’s an easy task to forget. Don’t become a victim because you forgot to install the latest security updates.
5. Use Windows 10 Anti-Ransomware Tool
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update comes with an anti-ransomware tool that provides extra protection. The anti-ransomware tool maintains a whitelist of apps that are permitted to modify your listed folders. This means that malicious software is unable to encrypt or change those folders.
You can go to Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings and turn on the Real-time protection and Controlled folder access.
On the Controlled folder access window, you can set options for Protected folders and Allow an app through Controlled folder. The first link allows you to add folders for protection, and the second link lets you add programs that are allowed to make changes.
Protecting your valuable trading data and accounts is a must for every trader. Take the steps above to ensure your computer is safe from a ransomware takeover.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250