Ransomware is a piece of malware that encrypts the victim’s computer meaning any access to their files is not possible, and the only way to regain access to the files is to pay a ransom. It has become extremely popular recently, with it now working its way not only into big companies computer systems, but people’s homes. There are two main types of ransomware. The first is encrypting ransomware. The purpose of this is to block the victim’s files and demand payment in return for their files to be decrypted by the scammers. The second type is locker ransomware. This locks the victim from accessing anything on their computer system. Even though the files are not encrypted in this case, the victim will still be asked for a ransom fee to unlock all of their personal files and computer system as a whole.

Now that you are aware of the definition of ransomware and also the different types that are used, you can now know how to avoid these at all costs.

1. You must back up all of your data and files. This way, if they do manage to encrypt your system files, you can simply wipe everything and restore your latest backup. No need to pay the ransom and all your data restored!
2. Do not pay the ransom. It encourages these hackers to carry on with other victims and there is absolutely no guarantee you will receive all your files back.
3. Referring to our previous posts, do not provide any personal information over emails. They can use this information to convince you to download encrypting software. If you own a business, contact your IT department if you receive anything suspicious and doubtful.
4. Keep your antivirus and firewall up to date. This is critical and will be a big help blocking any viruses encrypting your computer system.
5. Make sure you have filtering and scanning enabled your email system. This can detect and block any attachments that could be fatal for your computer.

Ransomware can sound scary, especially if you do own a business. However, if you are prepared for the worst, you will be absolutely fine. Keep these tips in mind at all times and most importantly – BACK UP your files! This will be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to hackers and ransomware affecting you. Pass on these tips to anyone you know who may benefit from them also, that can be your good deed for the day!

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