What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a computer virus designed to launch encryption on a computer. Rendering all personal data unreadable until the ransom is paid to retrieve the key required to decrypt the data.
This type of virus usually finds it way onto a PC via email or infected websites.
How can I protect against Ransomware?
As I said previously, the infection is delivered through either email, or an infected website, so protection involves several things;
- Ensure your computer is kept up to date with the latest update patches
- Never open email attachments from people you do not know
- Be very weary whenever you receive any .zip file or .html attachments
- Use an antivirus product that contains web browser protection
Our advice is to delete any mails immediately especially when you do not know the sender. Also having a good antivirus in place will help to protect your mailbox by scanning mails with attachments.
Further protection involves setting up group policies on your computer, or installing programs that explicitly apply these blocks to prevent these types of infections from running. The downside to programs that accomplish this is that they could also block legitimate software or slow your computer down.
The most safe proof way to keep your data safe is to backup your data on a regular basis to either an external hard drive or to the cloud with programs like DropBox or OneDrive.
What to do if infected?
In the event that your computer has been infected by one of these viruses, disconnect your computer from the network immediately, thus preventing further infection from spreading, and consult an IT Professional.
We highly discourage paying the ransom fee to retrieve your data back, because this supports the trade, however if you are left with no other option of retrieving your data then you will need to.