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Gmail blocking certain attachments – The reason why is troubling

If you keep up on tech news, you know how active cybercriminals have been lately. Malware, data breaches, and phishing scams are everywhere.

However, the leading digital threat of 2016 was ransomware. There is finally some good news to report on the ransomware front, though. Google is making a move that will help prevent these attacks.

It’s true, Google is making a change to your Gmail account that will help prevent ransomware attacks.

How Gmail is becoming more secure

Have you ever heard of JavaScript? It’s a commonly used computer programming language used to create interactive effects within web browsers. You will find it on most websites on the internet.

In most occasions, JavaScript is hidden inside the code of a website and you don’t even know it’s there. JavaScript can also be attached to an email as a .JS file. This is where problems can arise.

Cybercriminals could easily trick victims into clicking on a malicious .JS file, encrypting their gadget with ransomware. Google said there are so many other ways for people to share .JS files, it’s unnecessary to send them through email.

That’s why from now on, Gmail will block all .JS attachments. It’s a security feature that will help its users stay protected from ransomware.


Image: example of blocked file message in Gmail (Source: Google)

This is a great step in the fight against cybercriminals. Since ransomware was the 2016 digital threat king, more preventative measures such as this need to be made.

How to prevent a ransomware attack

Ransomware has become so prevalent, U.S. government security agencies have taken notice. The FBI released these suggestions on how to prevent an attack:

  • Back up data regularly – this could be the best way to recover your critical data if you are infected.
  • Make sure your backups are secure – do not connect your backups to computers or networks that they are backing up.
  • Never open risky links in emails – don’t open attachments from unsolicited emails.
  • Download only trusted software – make sure the software you download comes from trusted sites.
  • Have strong security software – This will help prevent the installation of ransomware on your gadget.

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