Imagine logging onto your computer only to find that you can’t access any of your files. You inbox contains an email that demands a payment for the return of your files. This type of hack uses ransomware to access your information and hold it at ransom, and it is an all too common threat that exists for internet users. Get a better understanding of what ransomware means for you and your computer and how you can best deal with a crook utilizing ransomware to access your information.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software that prevents you from accessing your data, preventing you from accessing the data through a block or encryption. The user in control of the ransomware threatens to delete or publish your data unless a ransom is paid.
How does ransomware work?
The most common type of ransomware uses a Trojan disguised as a legitimate file used to trick you into downloading the software.
How can I protect my data from ransomware?
Be sure that your computers security software is up to date. Conduct regular scans of your computer to ensure that nothing suspicious has been downloaded.
What should I do if I receive an email containing ransomware?
First and foremost, don’t pay the ransom. In most cases, you won’t get your files back, regardless of how much you pay. Instead, remain calm and avoid clicking on any links or attachments included in the email. One of the most common methods of ransomware delivery is through spam email saying that a package couldn’t be delivered to your address. Read the email carefully, inspecting things like spelling, URLs, and of course, the email address of the sender. Report the email as spam and delete it immediately. For added precaution, run a security scan of your computer to ensure nothing fishy has been downloaded.
What should I do after a ransomware attack?
Once you have cleared your computer of the ransomware infection, update your operating system and perform a backup of your hard drive. Keep this backup in a safe place so that you have your files on hand in the event of another attack. Install updated security software and conduct scans regularly to check for suspicious software.
Keep in mind that new ransomware appears on a regular basis, so it’s important to always keep your computer and security software updated to protect yourself from the latest variants. Be cautious when you receive a suspicious email, particularly if they contain links or attachments. For more guidance on ransomware best practices, contact the experts at PCS.