Recently, hospitals, companies and government agencies worldwide were hit by a type of computer malware known as ransomware.
If you do not use anti-ransomware software on your computer, you should consider it now before you lose all access to your data by a ransomware attack.
Read the follow-up information at the end of this article.
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
Recently computers across the world were locked up and users’ files held for ransom which means files were encrypted or locked making them unusable until an unlock code was purchased and run on the computer. Dozens of countries were hit in a cyber-extortion attack that targeted hospitals, companies and government agencies.
What are malware and ransomware?
Malware is a general term that refers to software that’s harmful to your computer. Ransomware is a type of malware that essentially takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing data on it until a ransom is paid.
How does your computer become infected with ransomware?
In most cases, the software infects computers through links or attachments in malicious messages known as phishing emails. Never click on a link in an email unless it comes from a trusted source.
How ransomware works
“Ransomware is when your files are held for ransom. The malware finds all of your files and encrypts them and then leaves you a message. “If you want to decrypt them, you have to pay.”
How to avoid these attacks
There is “no perfect solution” to the problem.
- Users should regularly back up their data;
- Users should ensure that their security software is up dated regularly (weekly or monthly at the very least) Usually the best procedure here is to have the software set to ‘automatically update’ which ensures that the software being used is the most current.
Find and install Antiransomware software
An antiransomeware software which I use is called WinPatrol WAR found at www.winpatrol.com
Follow up information from the antivirus company I use, AVAST: