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    6 steps to survive a ransomware attack


    3. Beware of your emails

    This was my other biggest mistake. Our ransomware attack came in through my email account. Now, before you judge, let me just say that I am not a click-on-anything kind of person. In my case, there was a perfect storm of events that led to me clicking on the link that would attempt to bring us down.

    First, my professional email is on our website, which led to Web creepy crawlers picking it up to spam in the hopes that I would give them access. Our email did not have security features, so all messages made it to the inbox. Once there, I was fooled into clicking on a document that infiltrated my computer.

    Related: A new contact lens app with potential to harm the public

    How do hackers get in? The most common ways for hackers to gain access are executable files. Word or Excel documents, malicious webpages, Adobe files, and links in social networking posts are all possible threats that may contain malicious ransomware.

    These people are tricky—seriously.

    As the practice owner, I constantly get UPS and FedEx shipment notifications. The offending email mimicked one of those, and I foolishly clicked on it. So, how do you fix the problem?

    We set up our emails using Microsoft Outlook with the help of our practice management software team. They were able to install antivirus scanners to specifically scan our emails as they come in. Now threats are detected immediately and disposed of before we have a chance to click them.

    Up next: Consider the cloud


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