Ransomware is when a hacker gets software onto your computer that can lock you out or encrypt the data files. Once the attack has succeeded, the hacker puts up a message screen on the computer announcing the attack and demanding a payment be made in order to get the decryption key or password to unlock the files.
Most of these attacks are the encrypting type and examples include CryptoLocker, Locky and CrytpoWall.
Ransomware commonly uses multiple evasion techniques to avoid being found by anti-virus programmes and is often able to spread from one computer to another on the same network.
The primary protection against ransomware is up to date anti-virus and anti-malware software and regular backups. Plus, you can consider the following:-
- If your anti-virus or anti-malware has anti-ransomware options then enable that protection
- Do regular scans of all drives
- Ensure any important files and data are also copied onto Internet storage or other external storage
- Never click on links in emails unless you are sure they are safe
- Never open email attachments that you do expect
- Delete spam emails and anything suspicious
- Beware dodgy websites that may download drive-by malware.
In conclusion, ransomware is a real problem – don’t be caught out with out of date backups.
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