3 Common Ways Ransomware Gets to Your Computer

There’s a 50% chance that your computer at work could be infected with ransomware especially with more online interactions.

With ransom transactions averaging over US$80,000 in 2019, malicious software is quickly becoming cybercriminals’ choice of weapon.

Ransomware uses internal systems to encrypt a series of files and deactivate troubleshooting processes, preventing access to your own data.  The hacker essentially holds your data hostage until your business pays up a substantial amount.

Is your business prepared to deal with these types of cyberattacks now that you’ve shifted to more digital processes?

Cybersecurity training plus a good cybersecurity insurance plan are two crucial ways to safeguard your company from liability and the cost of cyberattacks. But how exactly does ransomware get to your computers and devices?


Ransomware sent via email is what’s usually called phishing. A majority of ransomware is delivered via phishing. Hackers use legitimate-looking emails to trick recipients into clicking a link or downloading an attachment that contains malware.

The recipient will then get redirected to a malicious site that starts the download of ransomware. Attachments to emails come in various formats like Word, PDF, Excel or ZIP files to make the email seem safe. When the attachment is opened, the ransomware instantly uploads itself, encrypting and holding files for the hacker.

To minimize the chances of falling victim to phishing, manually entering the links in your browser, hovering over links, and expanding shortened URLs can help prevent you from clicking on them.

For attachments, check if the sender’s email address is legitimate by reviewing the domain extension (e.g. sendersname@gmail-net.com is a suspicious address). And only open files sent by people who you trust.

This site helps you check if a certain domain is temporary or a throw-away: https://www.block-disposable-email.com/cms/

2. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

RDP is a communications protocol that allows IT admins to get access to other systems (e.g. company employees).  During the process of gaining access to a system, a computer can become exposed to hackers for a window of time. This is when hackers attack and deploy ransomware.

Make sure your IT puts in place authentication factors and added security measures for all your ports. This is more of a task for the IT department but is still worth knowing when you’re running checks throughout your system.

3. Illegal or Pirated Software

Some companies cut costs by subscribing to pirated or unlicensed software because they don’t see the value of cybersecurity in relation to the tools they use on their computers.

Hackers can easily embed malicious ware when you download from unsecured software sites.

The quick solution to this is to invest in licensed software especially if you’re using it daily. To prevent ransomware infections via pirated software, avoid downloading activators, key generators and software cracks from torrent websites. It’s also best practice to use a complete anti-malware application to detect any installations happening in the background while your computer runs throughout the day.

There are other channels to which malware infects systems. Make sure your employees undergo cybersecurity training and have a robust liability insurance cover in place to protect your business.


Misconceptions About Cancer Treatment Costs in Hong Kong: A Survey

The Cancer Information Hong Kong Charity Foundation interviewed 500 people and asked them how much they thought would be the overall cost of terminal stage colorectal cancer treatment.

Under the Voluntary Healthcare Insurance Scheme, which will be launched next year, cancer patients can claim a maximum of HK$80,000 for therapies.

Get in touch with us to find the right health insurance policy to cover critical illnesses such as cancer.

The Cancer Information Hong Kong Charity Foundation interviewed 500 people and asked them how much they thought would be the overall cost of terminal stage colorectal cancer treatment.


Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart to Avoid Heart Disease

Awareness of the risk of heart disease gives you a better chance of making the right lifestyle choices to prevent heart attacks. According to the Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong, heart disease ranks as the 3rd most common cause of death among the population as of Q4 of 2020.

Here are some of the risk factors you can control to prevent heart disease:

– Smoking
– High blood pressure
– High Cholesterol and triglyceride levles
– Pre-diabetic factors
– Weight
– Physical activity (living an active or sedentary life)
– Metabolic syndrome

Taking better care of your health to be in the normal range of the listed factors above can give you better chances of avoiding heart complications as you age.

Of course, there are also things outside of your control such as family history and normal effects of aging.

Heart health is crucial no matter your age.

This puts you indirectly at risk of other general concerns like:

– Ability to make a stable living
– The possibility of a disability
– Overall quality of life

To prevent heart disease, doctors recommend the following:

1. Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. Nicotine constricts blood vessels including those in the skin and coronary blood vessels but also dilates blood vessels in skeletal muscle. This makes it harder for your heart to function.

2. Exercise! This prevention is quite obvious but needs constant reminding, especially with the fact that more people are staying in due to the pandemic. There are lots of ways to stay active even indoors. Obesity is preventable.

3. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity activities per day. Something as simple as brisk walking can help achieve this.

4. Lessen the intake of saturated fats. Eat your veggies! Go for low-fat, whole grain, and unprocessed diets as much as possible. Oats, beans, brown rice, and organic vegetables always work.

5. Get regular check-ups especially with your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels.

6. Know your family’s health history. Knowing if heart disease runs in the family (and if it can’t be helped) will allow you to make the necessary provisions for your health and finances such as having health insurance that covers critical illness.

Need help finding critical health insurance for expats in Hong Kong? Contact us today.



8 Useful Apps to Have When in Hong Kong

Be more equipped to navigate Hong Kong whether you’re just visiting or living here as an expat. Here is a handful of useful apps to download on your smartphone to make life much easier:


1. MyObservatory – Weather changes quickly in different parts of Hong Kong. Get location-specific weather updates as well as push notification services, useful for typhoon and rainstorm updates.


2. PayMe – HSBC is one of the most common banks used by expats. Send or receive money instantly with this peer-to-peer payment app from HSBC.

3. Toilet Rush – This is quite useful for anyone with small children. This app lets you know where the nearest public toilets are. Visitors will find this quite useful as well.


4. csl Wi-Fi – There’s no shortage of free WiFi hotspots in Hong Kong. Locate thousands of csl spots around the city.


5. Citymapper – Simply enter your destination and it will give you a guide on what public transport to use, as well as a street map for walking. Available for major cities worldwide.


6. HkingTrail HK – Provides offline map and over 100 hiking trails in HK, with supporting route drawing, route sharing, route length/gain/loss calculation, time estimation, GPS location, compass, track logging, deviation alert, and etc.


7. Hong Kong CityWalks – This handy application presents you several self-guided walks featuring the best of the city, from world famous attractions to hidden gems. There simply is no better way to see a city on foot, at your own pace and at a cost that is only a fraction of what you would normally pay for a guided tour.


8. Deliveroo – Get groceries delivered or order from your fave restaurants. Hundreds of cuisines to choose from.

Read through our recent blogs for more tips on living in Hong Kong as an expat or browse through our blogs with discussions about finding the best insurance covers in the city.