What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that really does what it says on the tin – once it is installed on a piece of equipment it allows someone else to remotely hold

your computer or device hostage. This may be done by remotely locking a device, for example – once this has happened then the owner is presented with a pop up window that infor

ms them the device has been locked and will only become accessible again for a fee. Ransomware can also be used to encrypt personal files to ‘hold them hostage’ until the fee is paid or to change proxy settings in a web browser to limit web usage.

How does ransomware get onto my computer?

Usually, this type of malware is contained in a malicious attachment or link so you’re most vulnerable when you’re clicking on a link in an email, in social media, via a social messaging website or any other website you come across.

Is it possible to get rid of ransomware?

Make sure that you have some sort of security on your computer and if you suspect ransomware – or you have received a message about it – then try to run a full system scan. An up to date security solution should be able to help you track down the ransomware and remove it before it does any further damage.

Can I avoid ransomware?

Yes, avoiding the ransomware in the first place is the best solution. The security software you use is key so make sure that this is always updated and turn on auto updates so that your computer will do this automatically if you forget. Depending on the type of computer you have it might be worth downloading an antivirus, antimalware program and regularly use scanning software to check for issues. Keep your firewall turned on and don’t click on links that you come across unless you trust the origin – so, never click on links in spam emails or unsolicited social media messages, for example.

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