Ransomware is one of the biggest threats one can face: once it gets on to your computer, it can encrypt your data and refuse to release it until you have paid a ransom.
Fortunately, there is a way to thwart the criminals operating such software, which is by making copies of all your valuable data so that when you’re attacked you can recover your critical data without paying the ransom.
A good rule of thumb is to always have at least three copies of your important files, for example, one on a local computer to work on, one stored in the cloud, and one stored on a hard copy device such as a USB stick, removable hard drive, etc.
The reason for having three copies is that it’s always possible that the ransomware could get to your detachable storage through the local computer, so you will always have the cloud backup to rely on.
In addition to having your data saved in three different places, it’s always a good idea to have it saved in at least two different types of media. We never know what technological challenges might be around the corner, and saving in two different forms of media will spread your risk.
This sort of precaution derives from the old days of using tape drives for backups; if one drive reader was to fail, all multiple copies of a document might be lost. Using the cloud, hard drives, external servers et cetera reduces the risk as it is highly unlikely that all of the services on which you store your documents would fail simultaneously.
Finally, always keep a copy of your important data somewhere secure and off-site, for example in a safe deposit box or a safe at home. That way, if your office burns down or is broken into, you will still have all your data secure.
Additionally, follow good security discipline with the encryption and strong passwords for every copy of your data; don’t just assume that any particular form of data storage is secure, because in the modern world of cybercrime, there’s no such thing if you don’t have robust protection.