Most ransomware is disguised as a valid file to be downloaded or opened in an email. So, what is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malicious software that holds your personal digital data for ransom. Those affected by ransomware cannot gain access to their personal data without paying a fine.
What is Ransomware?
- You’re probably thinking… “No one wants to get into my computer, I have nothing to steal, I’m not rich or famous”
- However, you have 100-2,000 friends in your email contacts who might trust you, and ransomware can email them (on your behalf) to infect their computer
- Typically, people whose data has been seized by ransomware are threatened to have their data leaked or are blocked from accessing their data
- Most ransomware is disguised as a valid file to be downloaded or opened in an email
Why should you care?
- Once ransomware has been launched there is little you can do unless you have a backup or security software in place already
- If you pay to get your data back, there is no guarantee that you will gain access to your data
What to do if you become a ransomware victim
- Do not pay the ransom fine
- If you think you may have ransomware running on your device, disconnect it from the internet immediately to prevent it from spreading
- Try using a decryption tool from Kaspersky Lab and Macafee to recover your data
How to prevent becoming a victim of ransomware
According to Kaspersky Lab and Macafee these are the steps you should take to protect your kids:
- Backup your computer so that if someone takes your data ransom they can delete it and you still have access to it
- Keep your software up to date (Windows, Mac, Android and iOS)
- Use antivirus software
- Never trust links or downloads from anyone you don’t know
- Buy an external hard drive and back it up once a month then disconnect it once the backup is complete so ransomware can’t access your data
What backup software should I use?
The best antivirus software for Macs & PCs
- McAfee AntiVirus Plus
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus
- Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
- Avast Pro Antivirus
- Malwarebytes (Free)
- AVG AntiVirus Free
- Teach them to never open or download/click links in emails from people they don’t know
- Offer to setup a backup system for their computer
- Remind them to regularly update their operating system software
- Get them on Gmail/Google apps if possible