Ransomware is a terrible kind of computer virus.
In my opinion, probably the worst that devices can be infected with.
There are several different types, but most commonly it will either lock your computer in its entirety or it will systematically encrypt every single file on your computer.
In a matter of seconds the computer is locked or your files are not accessible due to the encryption. When your computer is locked, it will stick to a page demanding a ransom amount to unlock the computer. The encryption on your files are done in such a way as to making recovery impossible.
These days they normally request bitcoin as their preferred currency.
This type of virus is very vicious, as there are no known or guaranteed way to remove it and recover all infected files. Once your computer gets infected your case will be lost.
How does your computer get this infection?
There are a few different ways that Ransomware can infect your PC or Mobile. The most frequent path is through emails. Please be aware that although anti-virus software is very well developed and protects electronic devices to the best of its ability, it is not a guaranteed safety-net. This includes anti-malware software and firewalls.
Viruses can easily bypass security by fooling humans.
Human error is the leading cause of security breaches and it is for this reason that I want to point out a few ways to avoid having you computer infected.
What to look out for:
–> Any email that tells you that you are a winner.
(Emails are the main carriers of ransomware and especially zipped attachments is a very dangerous territory.)
–> Websites and even some emails are full of what is called; ‘click-bait’.
(Websites are very luring when it comes to ransomware. There are loads of links and pop-ups that distracts you and ultimately makes you click on the wrong things. Infecting your computer immediately.)
–> Free Software
(Everyone loves free things. The free software is commonly known as adware. Any free software includes more dangerous viruses such as ransomware)
How to avoid the traps:
Do not open emails from sources unknown to you. If you are unsure of the sender, delete that mail immediately.
‼ Website Click-bait:
Do not click on links within a website. Make sure that the website is secure . Clicking on links will immediately redirect you to a shady website or even in some cases infect your computer with a virus immediately. So don’t fall in the trap!
‼ When downloading free software from the internet;
YouTube Downloader, this inadvertently downloadsalot of adware. Remember there are thousands of open source software on the internet that are completely safe and very useful. Here’s a hint: when trying to download free software, find the manufacturer of the software you want, and download it from their own website. This minimizes the risk of adware.
This is why you need to make regular backups of every important thing on your computer. Read more about back-ups here.
While this is not ransomware in itself, it does fall under the same concept. Have you ever been randomly phoned by Microsoft, telling you that your computer has some fault and that they need to log into it and fix it?
This is a very popular phone scam and very dangerous.
Once that person acquires access to your computer they can install malicious software that can detect and save all the passwords and usernames, pins, banking details and private information that you enter on your computer. Read all about this scam and how to prevent it here.