4 Ways to Protect Your Computer From a Malware Attack

4 Ways to Protect Your Computer From a Malware Attack

Malware includes viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software that gets installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from using your computer until you pay a certain amount of money. Spread through emails, it’s essentially extortion, with all the data on your computer at risk unless you pay.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains that a ransomware known as Cryptolocker works by encrypting all the files on your computer — your photos, your documents, your tax refunds — anything you’ve saved to the hard drive or any shared folders. Once the files are encrypted you won’t be able to open them without the encryption key — which you can get only from the criminals behind Cryptolocker.

The FTC recommends protecting your computer from Cryptolocker and other kinds of malware  by practicing good cyber security habits, such as:

1)      Backing up your files – right now and often.

An external hard drive is a good option, but be sure to disconnect it from the computer when you are not actively backing up files. If your back-up device is connected to your computer when Cryptolocker strikes, the program will try to encrypt those files, too.

2)      Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of the site you want directly into your browser. Then log in to your account, or navigate to the information you need.

3)      Minimize “drive-by” downloads by making sure your browser’s security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. For example, use at least the "medium" setting in Internet Explorer.

4)      Don’t open “double extension” files. Sometimes hackers try to make files look harmless by using .pdf or .jpeg in the file name. It might look like this: not_malware.pdf.exe. This file is NOT a PDF file. It’s an EXE file, and the double extension means it’s probably a virus.

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

 

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