What is Ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malicious software put on your computer which basically locks you out of your entire computer or particular functionality until you pay some money (ransom).
Ransomware is like a virus and comes under the banner of malicious software and should be treated as so.
Most cases of Ransomware will restrict total access to your computer and in most cases after paying the ransom, your computer will still be left in the same state you can not use it.
How does Ransomware get on your computer?
Ransomware is usually found on naughty, bad, or suspicious websites and a lot of times the actual user of the computer has downloaded the file unintentionally.
Whether it is through some form of advertising on the website, a direct download or it comes attached to something else you have downloaded, Ransomware is very hard to get off your computer once it is infected.
How can I protect myself from Ransomware
Back up your data.
Back up your data religiously if it is important to you. If you back up at the very least you can wipe and format your computer and restore your older backed up data.
Don’t Allow .exes through emails
Set your email client to disallow any .exe files to be downloaded while retrieving your emails.
Disable RDP if not needed
If you have Remote Desktop running in the background of your computer unnecessarily, turn it off.
Bad people will use this to try and install Ransomware on your computer while your computer is on and you are not using it.
Keep your antivirus up to date. Set this to automatic so it periodically checks and updates your computer with the latest antivirus definitions.
Think before you click
Just like in real life, your online security like your personal security comes down to what you do and where you go.
Using the internet we become click happy, in facts thats pretty much the only way to get or go anywhere online, so a lot of the time we are surfing the net we click without really thinking about it.
Criminals will take advantage of this so it is very important you think about what you click on and where it takes you.
Do not pay them
Many people make the mistake of giving these people who are already holding them to ransom anonymously there credit card or payment details. Very rarely do they fix your computer after they have been paid.
The worst thing you can do is give them your credit card details.
What do you think they are going to do with your credit card?
How to get rid of Ransomware
Ransomware is very hard to get rid of.
Many people try paying the ransom only to find out there money is gone and there computer is still locked. Also you never want to give criminals your credit card. If they are willing to hold you to ransom, it wouldn’t be a stretch to use your credit card once they have it also.
Some ransomware are just files in your startup directory stopping you access your login screen and can be removed with a bit of messing around.
A lot of Ransomware now is encrypted. Which basically means so well locked there is no getting it off your computer, thats why backing up is so important. In this case we would have to totally wipe your computer, set it back to its initially bought date and restore your backed up data.
Please give Ross a call on 0402 807 890 if you think you have Ransomware on your computer, laptop or notebook.
More Ransomware information can be read here.