What is Ransomware?

Christian Gays Forums Tech Talk What is Ransomware?

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    There are a few things that most of us, even me do not realize when we surf the web. There are programs out there called Ransomware which is used to hold your digital life hostage for a big price.

    So how can one protect themselves from a Ransomware attack? (the following has been taken from Microsoft)

    There are two types of ransomware – lockscreen ransomware and encryption ransomware.

    Lockscreen ransomware shows a full-screen message that prevents you from accessing your PC or files. It says you have to pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC again.

    Encryption ransomware changes your files so you can’t open them. It does this by encrypting the files – see the Details for enterprises section if you’re interested in the technologies and techniques we’ve seen.

    Older versions of ransom usually claim you have done something illegal with your PC, and that you are being fined by a police force or government agency.

    These claims are false. It is a scare tactic designed to make you pay the money without telling anyone who might be able to restore your PC.

    Newer versions encrypt the files on your PC so you can’t access them, and then simply demand money to restore your files.

    Ransomware can get on your PC from nearly any source that any other malware (including viruses) can come from. This includes:

    Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
    Opening emails and email attachments from people you don’t know, or that you weren’t expecting.
    Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, instant messenger chats, like Skype.
    It can be very difficult to restore your PC after a ransomware attack – especially if it’s infected by encryption ransomware.

    That’s why the best solution to ransomware is to be safe on the Internet and with emails and online chat:

    Don’t click on a link on a webpage, in an email, or in a chat message unless you absolutely trust the page or sender.
    If you’re ever unsure – don’t click it!
    Often fake emails and webpages have bad spelling, or just look unusual. Look out for strange spellings of company names (like “PayePal” instead of “PayPal”) or unusual spaces, symbols, or punctuation (like “iTunesCustomer Service” instead of “iTunes Customer Service”).
    Check our frequently asked questions for more information about ransomware, including troubleshooting tips in case you’re infected, and how you can backup your files to help protect yourself from ransomware.

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