Can a VPN Protect from Ransomware?
Trojan horses and similar computer viruses might be a relic of the old Internet, but today’s users are far from free of any online threats. One of the most underhanded and malicious types of such attacks is ransomware. It’s relatively new in the overall landscape of things. As such, many online users are still unfamiliar with how it does and the extent of damage it can do. So, what is ransomware, and can a VPN help protect you against it? Read this Zlog post and find out everything you need to know.
What is Ransomware, and How does it Work?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the user’s data. Attackers use it to lock the victim’s data and require a ransom to revert the damage. Through ransomware, the attacker is the only one that holds the key. Without it, the victim can’t access any of the locked content.
Ransomware is relatively common in today’s online landscape and can take up a variety of forms. This primarily depends on their goals and target. When it comes to modern ransomware attacks, hackers usually demand payment in cryptocurrencies, making the attack virtually untraceable once the attackers disappear.
When it comes to the specific methods of how this computer infection spreads, they don’t differ from those we’ve seen in other forms of malware. The victim usually unknowingly allows access to ransomware by clicking on a link, phishing email, or using shady online websites.
Once activated, it automatically encrypts the content on the user’s device. Generally speaking, no one is safe from such attempts. However, hackers have a few primary targets:
- Individual users with access to sensitive or valuable information
- Organizations or business with a weaker or outdated security infrastructure
- Large companies with abundant resources
From the three types above, you can notice that hackers mostly target those who are inherently more susceptible to these attacks or will be more open to paying the ransom to get their data restored.
Can a VPN Protect from Ransomware?
A VPN on its own can’t stop a ransomware attack but can still play a significant role in protecting you from it from a prevention standpoint. Because a VPN masks your real IP and encrypts all of the data you run through it, you’ll be a much more difficult target for attackers. But, since ransomware requires you to open up these infected attachments or links physically, you also have to be more careful of what you open.
So, with all of this in mind, can a VPN protect from ransomware? No. Can it make you significantly less vulnerable to such an attack? Absolutely. It protects all of the data you share in transit but doesn’t encrypt the files, folders, images, or anything else you have stored on your device.
Top Tips on How to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks can be stressful and with many severe implications. But, luckily, there are several methods you can employ to enhance your protection. Most notably, the three most important tips we want to include are:
- Common Sense – Unsurprisingly, common sense is often more effective than any other security tool you might have under your belt. No system in the world will protect you if you’re carelessly clicking on links and opening suspicious emails and messages. Always be careful with unknown sources and have a secure backup of your sensitive information.
- Powerful Antivirus – Having a top-quality antivirus can help protect your device in case any ransomware gets through. Moreover, it’s critical to always keep your antivirus up to date to allow it to handle all security issues.
- Reliable VPN – Always use a VPN to encrypt your traffic. That way, no malicious hackers will be able to intercept your data or see what you’re doing online. All of your sensitive information will be safe from prying eyes. And, even if it falls into the wrong hands by some chance, it’ll still be encrypted and inaccessible to anyone.
A VPN can be your powerful ally in your mission to ensure maximum online privacy and security. But, for this to be true, you must pick a reliable and robust VPN you can rely on. At ZoogVPN, we offer you a comprehensive VPN service capable of keeping you safe using the Internet. Sign up today and enjoy a safe and unlimited online experience!