Ransom Software known as Ransomware
Unfortunately, the answer is YES, because ransomware, a type of malicious software or ransom software, can attack your computer and all your data. And, as if it was not embarrassing enough when your computer gets infected by a “normal” virus, this type of software can install pornography on your site or encrypt your data so that you cannot read them anymore. In the next step, the bad guys behind all that will ask you to pay them to remove the porn or to get back access to your data.
If you watch this video, you’ll see how malware can be used by cyber criminals and what can happen…
Ori Eisen, 41st Parameter founder and chief innovation officer of fraud prevention, says:
“There’s more and more documented evidence that this is going on.”
What is Ransomware?
Simply put, it’s another malicious software scam that can seriously affect your online security.
“Ransomware is actually scarier” than the scareware scams, says Robert Siciliano, a Boston-based identity theft expert. “There’s nothing worse in the field of technology than having a criminal in control of your network. When a ransomware attack occurs, it can easily elevate from a potential data loss to potential identity theft to a data breach in the form of extortion.”
How Ransomware works
Ransomware attacks start just like scareware assaults. You click on an infected pop-up ad or visit an infected website, that’s it. But there is a huge difference: those bad guys behind the ransomware can hold your computer hostage and try to extort payment.
“The FBI recently issued an alert about the broader category of rogueware, which include ransomware and fake antivirus scareware scams. According to the FBI, criminals are netting an estimated $150 million a year through these scams.”
Protect your computer and your data from ransomware
There is a lot you can do to protect your computer and all your data from ransomware and other malicious software.
Here are the 8 most important steps:
- Backup your files on a regular basis. No matter if you use an external hard drive or an online backup service, do it on a regular basis.
- Use a trustworthy antivirus program and make sure you have your firewall installed. Do not use free antivirus programs because they cannot provide the safety you need. Update your antivirus software and scan your computer regularly.
- Protect your computer by using a master password.
- Don’t click on links inside of emails from senders you don’t know.
- Enable your pop-up blocker to make sure you don’t click accidentally on an infected pop-up.
- Don’t visit suspicious websites. Buy an antivirus software that allows you to check the safety of websites before you visit them.
- If you receive a ransomware note, shut down your computer to make sure you don’t send back your personal data to the criminals. Use another computer to search for details about the type of attack. Use your backup for a fresh start and if you cannot do that yourself, take your computer to a trustworthy repair shop.
- If it happens… and you become a victim of ransomware: do NOT pay. Remember, even if you pay chances are that they will not release your information. And chances are that they will never stop extorting you.
Threats are everywhere on the internet. Hope this article helped to clarify why malicious software, and especially ransomware is so dangerous. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.