If there's one thing we know about cybercriminals, it's that they are always adapting their schemes. They're constantly looking for new, more effective ways to rip us off.
Ransomware became the scam of choice in 2016, as it became the fastest growing digital threat in the world. Now, criminals behind ransomware scams are shifting their focus to the users of this popular operating system.
Why Android users are being targeted with ransomware
Researchers at ESET found that the number of Android users being targeted with ransomware grew by more than 50 percent over the last year. This is happening because more people are using mobile gadgets as their primary device. This means more valuable information is being stored on them.
When ransomware first became a popular tool of cybercriminals, attacks were focused on Eastern European users. That is also changing. Most of the infected Android gadgets, nearly 72 percent, are now located in the U.S.
The growing number of attacks makes it extremely important for Android users to be especially careful and take preventive measures. You need to know that many of these ransomware scams are spread through malicious apps. Furthermore, almost every malicious app is found in third-party app stores.
Ransomware scams have increased at such an alarming rate that the U.S. government has gotten involved. The FBI suggests implementing these safety measures to help prevent these breaches:
How to evade ransomware attacks
- Avoid third-party app stores - If you are going to download apps, get them from official app stores like Google Play or Apple's App Store. These official app stores have security measures in place that stop malicious apps from being available. In almost every case, a malicious app will come from a third-party.
- 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.
- Have strong security software - This will help prevent the installation of ransomware on your gadget. Make sure you are keeping your security software up to date, as these updates protect against newly discovered threats.