Ransomware, what is it, how to avoid it, and what to do if we have been infected

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Ransomware can encrypt your files and force you to get paid – here’s how to avoid ransomware or what to do if we’ve been infected. The ransomware encrypts your most important files and forces you to pay to regain access.

Ransomware is a type of malware that can block access to all files on your computer, unless you agree to pay a ransom. If you have been infected with ransomware, avoid paying and go instead to “restore” your computer until you have caught the virus.

The best way to avoid getting damaged by viruses such as ransomware is to back up your files often and keep your antivirus software and your computer up to date.

Ransomware is particularly insidious: once it infects a computer, it is usually designed to encrypt all files until a ransom is paid.

The only thing you can do with an infected computer is read the ransomware’s payment instructions and submit the payment. Most of the time, the payment should be made in the form of bitcoin, and after making the payment, you will be provided with a decryption key.

Ransomware can affect both Macs and PCs, but the vast majority of it is designed for Windows PCs.

A ransomware infection is like most other types of malware. Typically, you become infected with ransomware by opening an infected file that arrives via email or website.

Ransomware can be part of a Phishing; for example, you may receive an email asking you to check an invoice or pay an invoice, but the attached file is actually the payload of the ransomware.

Once infected, the ransomware moves quickly to encrypt your files and prevent you from accessing tools that can be used to stop the attack. Depending on the variant of the ransomware, it can also delete or encrypt files stored on external hard drives, network devices or connected cloud services (OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.). Then you will be asked to pay a certain amount of money, usually within a few days, or you will lose your files.

What to do if you are infected with ransomware

If you have been infected with ransomware, most security experts recommend that you do not pay the ransom. Not only does paying for it encourage criminals, but there is no guarantee that you will get the decryption code or that it will work properly.

Instead of paying the ransom, you proactively protect your computer before be infected. This means making sure that all important data is backed up.

The safest way to back up your data is to use an external hard drive, using backup software that uses version control. Version management ensures that each backup of your PC is treated as a separate version, so if you back up an infected file, you can “roll back” to a previous version that has not yet been infected.

And don’t leave the drive permanently connected to your computer; Once the backup is complete, disconnect it so that the malware cannot infect it.

In addition, there are tools at your disposal to fight ransomware even after an attack. No more ransom And Ransomware ID, for example, these are free services that you can use to try to decrypt an infected computer. Both tools have an ever-growing ransomware database that can help you.

Ransomware is just another type of malware, so the same virus avoidance tips apply here as well.

  • Use anti-malware software and, in particular, consider protecting yourself with anti-ransomware software. Some popular anti-ransomware tools include Acronis ransomware protection, Check Point ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware And Malwarebytes 4.
  • Keep yours up to date Windows computer Where Mac with the latest patches and security updates. The famous WannaCry ransomware attack spread faster among older Windows computers that had not installed new updates for years.
  • Never click on links that you don’t fully trust. This is age-old advice; do not open emails and attachments unless you trust the source and do not visit or click links on risky websites. Try to stick to credible and legitimate sources for downloading software, both to your computer and to mobile devices.

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