1) Update Your Software Regularly
While updating your computer or smartphone’s operating system can sound scary, doing so regularly is one of the best ways to prevent hackers from installing malware on your device. Software manufacturers regularly release updates designed to patch up security holes that hackers could potentially exploit. So if you’re worried about being hacked, be sure to update any software you use—from operating systems and browser extensions, to email and social media apps.

2) Backup, Backup, Backup!
Whether you use an external hard drive or cloud storage, backing up your computer is essential. If your device gets infected with ransomware and you don’t have a backup, not only will your data be at risk, but you could also lose all of your important information and documents. Backing up is one of many best practices for preventing ransomware from infecting a network. And it’s easy and inexpensive!

3) Patch Your Software and Systems As Soon As Possible
The single best thing you can do to prevent against ransomware is make sure your software and systems are up-to-date. If you’re running an older operating system that doesn’t have many security patches or if you use out-of-date software, install updates as soon as they become available. Even doing so on a semi-regular basis is better than waiting months or years between updates. You’ll also want to pay attention to any security alerts and take action when appropriate.

4) Use Two-Factor Authentication
This is one of the most important steps that you can take to protect your data. Using two-factor authentication adds a layer of security by requiring not only a password, but also some other piece of information, like a phone number or code, before someone can log in. If your data were stolen, thieves wouldn’t be able to access it without both your password and another key.

5) Invest In An Antivirus Solution
It’s common sense, but investing in an antivirus solution is one of your best bets for preventing a malware infection. Even if you do fall victim to ransomware, there are still ways you can recover your files—most notably by backing up your data on an external hard drive (or cloud). If you already have antivirus software installed, be sure it’s updated regularly with new patches and signatures.

6) Train Employees To Be Aware Of Scams
Every employee should be trained on common scams, including phishing and ransomware. Fraud prevention training can help employees know what to look for and how to prevent scams from succeeding. Train your employees about these common email scams and how to avoid them: Phishing scams: Employees need to know that an email asking for sensitive information, such as a password or credit card information, is not real. Phishing emails are designed to look like they come from a reputable source in order trick people into giving up their information.

7) Encrypt Sensitive Data That’s Stored On External Media
Encrypting data before it’s stored on external media like USB drives or SD cards is an important part of any good backup plan. If a bad actor gets their hands on your storage device, your sensitive information can’t be accessed without a key that you control.

8) Encrypt Sensitive Data That’s In Transit Over The Network
Encrypting sensitive data that’s in transit over a network will help protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and other types of interception. If an attacker intercepts your unencrypted data and injects malware or ransomware, he won’t be able to do anything with it unless he has access to your encryption keys. So you need two sets of keys: one that is stored at your end and another set at your end user’s end.

9) Don’t Ignore Suspicious Attachments Or Links In Email
Malicious links are easy to miss. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for them. If you see a link that seems suspicious, hover over it before clicking and make sure there’s nothing fishy going on, like phishing or tracking software. Malicious links are easy to miss. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for them.

10) Use A Firewall To Block Remote Access To Critical Services
Firewalls are one of your best defenses against ransomware, as they can block attempts by cybercriminals to gain remote access and infect your system or network. One way that firewalls protect you is by setting a rule on your router that denies all traffic from unknown sources.