Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Ransomware is a serious threat to your computer system and files; this type of software attack occurs every 14 seconds.
Ransomware is a type of malware software designed to block access to a computer system or computer files until a sum of money is paid. Most ransomware variants encrypt the files on the affected computer, making them inaccessible until an untraceable ransom payment (typically bitcoin) is exchanged for a decryption key. In many cases, the victim must pay the cybercriminal within a set amount of time or risk losing access to the data forever.
This type of malware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user's knowledge.
Ransomware is a profitable market for cybercriminals with a growth of $1.5 trillion dollars annually and can be difficult to stop once your company has been infected. Prevention is the most important aspect of protecting your personal data. There are a few steps you can take to defend yourself against ransomware infection and improve your defenses from all sorts of attacks:
These are great steps to take in order to prepare yourself against Ransomware, however if you haven’t done them or you are not feeling so confident with the steps you have taken so far, there are some items that can help you detect if your computer has malware:
Knowing the types of ransomware that are out there and what to do during these criminal situations will help you prevent the various malware attacks out there. The seven most common types are:
Keep in mind, you may not get your files back even if you pay a ransom. A cybercriminal could ask you to pay again and again, extorting money from you but never releasing your data.
With new ransomware appearing every day, it’s a good idea to do what you can to minimize your exposure and protect your data from this kind of violation.