Ransomware, also known as malware, is a malicious program that blocks you from accessing your computer’s files, systems or networks. It demands payment in ransom to get them back. Ransomware attacks can disrupt operations and cause data loss.
Unknowingly, ransomware can be downloaded onto a computer through email attachments, clicking on an ad or visiting a website with malware embedded.
Once the code has been loaded onto a computer it will block access to that computer and any data or files stored there. Other versions of the code can be more dangerous and encrypt files and folders on local, attached, and networked drives.
Most often, your computer is not aware that it has been infected. It usually occurs when you cannot access your data anymore or you receive computer messages informing you of the attack and asking for ransom payments.
Ransomware: Tips to Avoid
Being a careful and diligent computer user is the best way to prevent being exposed to ransomware or any other type of malware. Malware distributors are becoming more sophisticated, so you should be cautious about what you download or click on.
- Ensure that operating systems, software, as well as applications, are up-to-date.
- Make certain that anti-virus and other anti-malware software are set up to run regular scans and automatically update.
- Always back up your data and double-check you have completed backups
- Make sure you have backups. You must ensure that they are not connected with the networks and computers they are backing up.
- Make a plan for continuity in the event that your organization or business is attacked by ransomware.