How to Secure Yourself against CryptoLocker

Ransomware has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, being one of the major threats for Internet users universally. With the term of Ransomware, we refer to any malicious software that is installed without your consent and takes your data as hostage. Of course, this happens after the Ransomware finds an open hole and penetrates your system. In this way, your data gets encrypted and only then do you notice that something is wrong.

If you wish to get your data back without any loss or damage, you will be expected to pay the money that the hackers who have planted the Ransomware demand. This can be truly frustrating and especially in the case of top secret and classified documents, professional files and data that is not stored anywhere else. Even if you detect the ramsonware after the completion of the encryption, you do not get to succeed in doing much. You can uninstall it and even damage the source of the Ransomware, but the decryption key will not get inside your hands without the proper monetary fee.

One such fine example of Ransomware has been CryptoLocker. This threat has been sent in the form of an email attachment and the people primarily targeted were residents of the US and the UK. The spam mails have affected large groups of people and consequently a lot of people have been forced to pay the necessary penalty for being given the decryption key to their digital property. Although it may sound impossible to protect yourself against CryptoLocker, there are several things that you can do towards shielding your security as much as you can. So, let’s get started with the tips that we have got to offer to you on this subject!

10+1 Tips for CryptoLocker Protection

  • Install Antivirus Software: This is crucial, as without the right tools installed on your device, you can never expect to detect any threat beforehand. In order for you to get thorough online protection, you need to update your antivirus software and any other security tool and get the latest versions that typically include the most advanced shield.
  • Block Email Attachments: Particularly when you receive an email from an un-trusted source, it makes total sense why you ought not to open any attachment. CryptoLocker affects the computers of people via email attachments (primarily) and therefore it will be like inviting the Ransomware inside your own territory and without the proper armor.
  • Make Use of Vulnerability Mitigation Software: As their name suggests, you are encouraged to use additional software to your basic antivirus program. There is the right vulnerability mitigation software that will work wonders to your PC every single time, protecting your data.
  • Backup Any Data: If you want to sleep tight at night without worrying about data loss, regular and thorough data backups are imperative. Feel free to store the files of yours both locally and online, using hard drives and USB flash drives, cloud storage plans and any other backup option that suits your needs.
  • Avoid Storing Passwords: Passwords can be truly dangerous when leaked and therefore you should in no way get tempted to store your passwords. CryptoLocker is just one of the threats that might emerge and attempt to affect your PC; so, do not feed such threats by offering access to important information.
  • Keep Your OS Up to Date: Along with any software you have got installed on your PC, you need to make sure that you run on an up to date OS. This is the best solution, in order to eliminate threats that used to apply in the past and have now been overcome due to the latest breakthroughs in technology.
  • Filter Files by Extension: If you can do that, it will save you from a lot of trouble in the long run. When scanning your attachments, make sure that you block the files with the .EXE extension. This will help you out towards preventing unknown files from being executed and the Ransomware from being installed on its own.
  • Avoid Hidden File Extensions: Windows by default hide the extensions of the files and this makes it easier for the CryptoLocker PDF.EXE file to be executed and installed on your PC. If you ensure that the file extensions are visible to you, the chances are that you will not confront with such threats in the future.
  • BIOS Time Set Back: This is not the ideal piece of advice, as you should avoid paying any fee whatsoever for getting your data back. Nevertheless, it has been found that 72 hours after the threat has been revealed, the price for providing the decryption key increases significantly. So, you can change the BIOS clock to the time prior to the 72 hours and get the chance to pay a lot less.
  • Log off from Wi-Fi: There is the opportunity for you to get protected by confining the damage made to your computer, if you act on the spot. In specific, as soon as you realize that a suspicious file has been installed on your PC, you should disconnect right away from your Wi-Fi connection or any other network you use. As a result, you may get the time to detect CryptoLocker before it does any serious harm.
  • System Restore: Last but not least, there are times when system restore can perform miracles for your computer. Once again, this is similar to the disconnection from your Wi-Fi and therefore you need to act smart and quickly for this tip to be successful.

Feel free to try out these guidelines, which enhance your Internet security and provide you with thorough CryptoLocker protection. Although this is definitely a severe threat that you are up against, with the proper instructions, adequate knowledge, right tool and will to overcome the threat, nothing will stand in your way. Share your comments with us on this Ransomware and suggest any other solution that you might have found out over time!

Ali Raza Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a Master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology for SecurityGladiators. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.

4 thoughts on “How to Secure Yourself against CryptoLocker”

  1. I bought a LENOVO IDEAPAD in which was hacked within 2 day of turning it on. No Wi-Fi use that day. Took it to professionals and ordered recovery media and yet when I was trying g to set up the Wi-Fi it already was showing Cynthias desktop. Using it remotely. Habe lost 3 computets. And ha e be one that I will not turn on and 2 twablets u do t use. This is crazy way thi s is from Germany

    • That is strange.
      Unless someone is Edward Snowden, one shouldn’t get his/her computer hacked even without the use of any Wi-Fi network.
      Our recommendation would be to return the product to the manufacturer if it is under warranty.

      • I must be related to Edward then. Took lenovo bavk 2 times. 3rd time just decided to deak with it. Had support with g____ s____. Didn’t turn it back on for 9 months. Used cellular service instead of wifi. Phone had hacking problem too but dealt eith tbat myself. But in Dec i braved the service and took it back told them to clean it and remove bloatware. Well had to have recovery media for the reg32 system was so corrupted. Got media andtook back. Went to pick up and was looking at event viewer and the pc notified tgat hard drive,was full as tge old system stll therr and do i want to delete it. Duh! I deleted. But had other service a__ on other pcs that didnt solve anything. Needless i had a device that was accessing the ?FIXED LENOVO and it was Cynthi’s Desktop. I have now gotten wifi router from my IP. Having a bit of paranoia so gonna start back again tomorrow. But this is what u would sat ridiculous. Aatch my sitrs. Ha ent opened any emaiks. Now thi mostly phone so access email onlone, not downloading it on device. Do know my old desktop had 3 systems on it so whomever kn ow the virtial systens. Seems that i hsve no pkace to learn and those who know either think im dumb (possivle) or these os are secrets no one wull divu lge. If i can lear taxes and have business,for 30 yrats i can figure out 501c-3s, corp, partnership, payroll taxrs, state taxes, as welk as finacial p & ls, with balance sheets with n o fornal education i can learn this too . But how can i have hp’s, samsungs, lenovo, desktops, laptops, tablets and phione that get comprimised. So i thought modrm old and chsngrd it. Hoping it works,but now i ha e the lenovo to clean and teyly want ti do it myseld. So far i spent the mibet and no luck. This isn’t common? It seems so to me. Thanks for replying and aby suggestions on security software and removal and books or places to learn would just make my day.

        • Thank for you for such a comprehensive feedback.
          The free resources we would recommend are as follows and in order,
          1. Common Sense (don’t download stuff from sites you don’t trust. Don’t visit any either)
          2. an anti-virus software application. Paid ones are great. Free ones are fine. Examples include Avira and Bitdefender.
          3. an anti-malware tools like Malwarebytes. The free version is more than enough for most people.
          4. an anti-spyware tools. Superantispyware is the best free tool we have come across.
          Once you have that combination, we are sure that you won’t have problems with malware/spyware/slackware anymore.

          For premium privacy tools, use Tor browser and a good VPN service provider like IPVanish.
          Free VPN services include ProtonVPN and browsec.

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