Criminals eager for fast cash have long used ransomware, malicious software that locks your device until you pay up, to extort money from victims. It’s now cheaper than ever for hackers to execute these attacks, security experts say. And, not surprisingly, ransomware attacks are getting worse.
Most successful ransomware attacks today infiltrate Windows, Mac, and Linux computers whose software is not kept up-to-date. The ransomware is programmed to find important files and encrypt them, cutting off a victim from his or her most prized information until the ransom is paid.
What to do if you’re infected with ransomware
Here are some ways to remove ransomware, if your computer does get infected. Try these in order, as the side effects get worse with each one.
Step 1: Don’t panic. Search the Web for information about the ransomware you’re facing. It can be helpful to describe the warning that you’re seeing, as sometimes that’s an indicator of the kind of ransomware.
Step 2: Clean your computer completely before attempting to restore any data. If you don’t, you’ll have to repeat the process. The cleaning process varies, depending on your computer or phone.
Step 3: Pay the ransomware, and hope that you get your data back.
Step 4: Wipe your device, and reinstall its operating system. This process deletes all your apps and programs, files, and settings. However, it does give you a device free of ransomware.
How to avoid ransomware infections in the first place
What exactly is “good security hygiene,” as the experts like to call it? It’s a series of common-sense steps you can take to avoid becoming a ransomware statistic.
Tip 1: Back up your data. The surest way to be able to resurrect your computer or phone after a catastrophic event like a ransomware infection is to wipe it and restore your files, photos, movies—anything on the device that’s important to you.
Tip 2: No matter how tempting they might be, don’t click on emailed links or download attachments until you are absolutely certain the links or attachments are legitimate. If you’re not sure, check by contacting the sources, whether they’re colleagues, family members, or banks.
Tip 3: Avoid unofficial app marketplaces. Third-party app stores for Android and iPhone have gotten their users into hot water with ransomware, so avoid them, if you can.
Tip 4: Make sure that everything is up-to-date. Use only the latest versions of apps and software, browser add-ons, and plug-ins, and ensure that your device’s operating system has the latest security patches.
Tip 5: Use security software designed to constantly guard against unintentional downloads, as well as those that look legitimate but behave maliciously.
Don’t panic! We have your back.
Call us today at 1.800.638.9784 or e-mail MyIT@networth.ca to get the protection you need from this growing virus.
Also check out our MyDatto solution: http://www.networth.ca/services/mydatto/ which will protect your data no matter where it lives.