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How to protect yourself online from phishing and ransomware

A man checking his email.


5 ways to spot, avoid, and deal with phishing and ransomware attacks

Discover how to avoid phishing attacks before one is sent to you.

Phishing refers to the means that cybercriminals use to lure or coerce victims into clicking questionable links and/or downloading malicious files. It can come via email or any other collaboration software.

Phishing emails usually have some or all of the following telltale features:

  • They’re sent from odd or overly generic email addresses.
  • The messages are usually laced with grammatical errors.
  • They typically prey on your trusting nature and attempt to instill fear or create a sense of urgency.
  • They include links to odd or apparently unrelated sites.

Ransomware is a frequent partner of phishing attempts. Once a victim clicks the link to the suspicious site or unwittingly downloads the malicious file, it encrypts your sensitive data. That data remains inaccessible to you until you pay the demanded ransom.

It’s not a rare occurrence, either: The heat of the pandemic brought a national uptick in phishing and ransomware attacks.

Aware of the prominence and danger of this issue, Adobe, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and Speechless Inc. have produced this educational video to give you an idea of what phishing and ransomware look like in operation.

Check out their informative and entertaining video below.

What you need to do:

  • Be on the lookout for suspicious emails. When you find them, report them to your organization’s IT/cybersecurity team.
  • Back up your data in secure locations. This simple step can give you the confidence and freedom to ignore whatever ransom that shifty characters attempt to demand from you.
  • Utilize updated antivirus software and always keep it running. It’s one of your surest defenses against ransomware.
  • Familiarize yourself with the basic indicators of a phishing attempt and don’t fall for it.
  • Be mindful of freebies coming from questionable sources. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

To further bolster your cybersecurity, sign up for one of our legal packages. Cybercriminals are more relentless than ever; don’t get caught slacking.

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