A few days ago, some pieces of malware hit the web and infected numerous computers within minutes. They took down everything from business websites to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom. The software named as WannaCry is what is famous as ransomware. It is a type of virus that burrows into your personal computer and damages a large number of files. It encrypts files on your device and limits your access. The creators of this malware lock your computer until you pay the ransom. They would not unlock your data, and you have to pay their fee within a few days.
It looks like the first stage of the WannaCry attack has been ended, and there are chances that the hackers will reactivate this malware in coming weeks. They aim to steal your personal data and money, and cannot let you avoid their malware at any cost.
Andrew Dyhan, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, defines some tips on how to prevent this program and what you can do to stay safe on the internet.
What is Ransom?
Let us begin with the basic information. Ransomware is a form of crime and infects your computer system. It locks you out and encrypts the files within a few minutes. The hackers want you to pay a few dollars. WannaCry uses a variety of Microsoft Windows operating systems to attack different devices. The first case was reported months ago when several hackers claimed to have damaged the systems of the National Security Agency. If your machine is affected and you refuse to pay the ransom, you would have to say goodbye to your private photos, tax files, and other data for years.
Where it comes from
Ransomware is one of the most famous and dangerous cyber crimes. The hackers want you to pay money through Bitcoin, but its policies changed most recently and became user-friendly to track criminals based on how they are paid. All of its groups are built together to create specific software that is sold on the internet like normal antivirus tools. The victims purchase those programs and install. Their computer devices get infected in no time.
How the hackers get you
The criminals or hackers get access to your computer system through the malware and viral software. Ransomware does not pop up on your computers all of a sudden’ you have downloaded it from a website and don’t have an idea of how dangerous it is.
The viruses and malware enter your computer systems when you click on the pop-up windows. The hackers, on the other hand, gain access to your devices and cause serious problems for you. They often send you amazing messages via emails so that you can click their attachments or their links. The attackers then determine your location and ask to pay ransom as early as possible. A few weeks ago, criminals hacked the systems of the Deutsche Bank in Germany. Cybercriminals are active on the internet round the clock. So if you want to enjoy shopping online, you are not supposed to choose anything else but DHL and FedEx for shipment.
Security is one of the most basic needs of human beings; nobody likes to live afraid, we need to feel safe. That is why it is imperative that we take care of our security, and make it our number one priority. That starts with securing the place we spend the most time and where we go to feel safe: Our homes.
Technological progress has provided us with many conveniences and ways to protect ourselves, but it has also provided criminals with multiple ways to enter our homes. As such, we need to keep our homes safe with the latest security systems. With the rise in smart homes so comes the necessity, and demand, for intelligent security systems, old systems are no longer enough.
The fundamental principle is this; an intelligent home security system makes a connection with your Wi-Fi network, from there you can control and monitor your security devices using your smartphone and an app. The most basic systems usually consist of sensors installed in doors and windows, a motion detector, and a system that connects all the devices using one or more wireless protocols.
The first advantage that smart security systems have over the old ones is customization. You get as much security as you are willing to pay for and work for, you do not even need a team of professionals to do it. For example, at its more fundamental level, you can handle the surveillance of your home yourself by regularly monitoring it, or if you don’t have the time you can pay for a company to do it.
It is possible to add more sensors to provide coverage for the entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke detectors, water sensors, and many more devices.
Taking into account, this variety of options what should one choose? The simplest answer is the one that suits your needs, but to give you a helping hand here are the best smart home security systems of 2017.
The Frontpoint Home Security System offers a middle ground between do it yourself system and company system. It works like this, you install all the equipment, but the company provides the monitoring system 24/7. It is easy to install and has an extensive selection of accessories to customize your system further.
A Scout Alarm Home Security System offers significant customization. You can check in from any smart device, control the alarm from anywhere, have control over the components you want, the color and finish, the actions Scout will initiate in different situations, and the level of support you want.
The Piper NV Home Security Camera includes a lot of sensors, including motion, noise, temperature, humidity, and light sensors that provide information on the status of your home in real time. It will even warn you if dangerous weather events are approaching. The Piper NV is still a solid device that will protect small apartments or homes from criminals.
Technology has its pros and cons. Even if you are a cautious internet surfer, malware can compromise your system’s safety. This is where efficient security software play an important role. While Windows 10 uses Windows Defender anti-virus, you can also look at the third party alternatives.
What to expect from anti-virus?
Any anti-virus system’s heart is its threat detection system. This is a combination of database of identified threats and algorithms for analysis of any unknown program’s behaviour. This analysis is called “Heuristic Analysis”.
The detection engines are the heart of the anti-virus systems and key to company business. The free security products by a company use same engines for their paid counterparts. The difference lies in the additional features such as firewalls and system optimization settings offered in the latter. These features boost the performance even further.
Windows 10 comes pre-installed with Windows Defender. There is, however, no restriction on trying out third party installations.
Read on to find out if you should go for Windows Defender or look for its alternatives:
The Key Features of Microsoft Windows Defender for Windows 10
- Ability to run on any device running Windows
- Built into Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 and available as Microsoft Security Essentials for Vista and Windows 7.
- The bootable rescue disk is available as a separate download.
Defender gives you decent protection without installing any third party security applications. The recent version is more up-to-date with extra protection against boot sector viruses and root kits. Defender provides security in both scanning and real-time protection. Sounds cool!
But wait! How does Windows Defender compare with other anti-virus programs?
Using a comparative analysis called as AV-TEST, Windows Defender succeeded in filtering out 99% of the commonly prevalent malware, as well as 95% of zero day attacks. In the real world protection tests, Defender was able to identify and prevent 94.5% of threats. However, it is interesting to note that Defender’s ratings are lower than a majority of other security software based on the same AV-TESTS.
For instance, Kaspersky and BitDefender have a remarkable 100% rating in zero day threats. They also scored 99% in real-world protection tests.
What does all of this mean?
Should I use Windows Defender for Windows 10?
If you keep your system and browsers updated, and proceed with caution when it comes to installing plug-ins, Defender is worth its name. Combine standard security practices you should be following with Defender’s security measures and your system is safe.
If you regularly frequent the pirated torrent sites or applications with high risk behaviours, then opt for a stronger protection against obscure malware.
For the absolute best, go for Kaspersky. Consistent top ranking, clean interface and robust performance allow Kaspersky to provide the best protection for your system as well as value for your money.
Do try Avira if you want the best for free. Its interface has the best semblance between malware protection and non-intrusiveness. You can always uncheck the installation of Ask Toolbar and ignore the occasional pop-ups.
If you have absolutely no patience for passive marketing, go for Defender. You will never be asked to install something you don’t wish to and there are absolutely no ads – ever!
Windows Defender is not at all bad to use, but you might want to try other options before you finally settle down to this. It is by far the least annoying and intrusive security systems. Most free anti-virus programs come bundled with cumbersome add-ons, problematic browser extensions and occasional pop-up adverts.