In this ever so fast-growing world of technology, our reliance on computers for our daily operations is increasing tenfold. Be it professional or personal, all our valuable data is stored on computers and smart devices. And while that is the way to go about it in this modern age, with progressing technology, cyber-attacks are becoming more and more imminent.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware, as the name suggests is a cybercrime in which valuable data is held hostage until the ransom is paid. A ransomware virus can infect the system easily by luring the victim into opening a fishy email or a website link and as soon as the link is followed, the screen shuts off and a message asking for ransom appears.
Generally, there are three types of ransomware attacks:
Scareware is usually a hoax to scare the user. It is carried out by bombarding the user’s interface with pop-ups and messages that the device is hacked and needs to be protected, luring the user into opening a website link. Scareware can be tackled by rebooting the device. While your files remain unharmed, it is advised to run a ransomware removal program to get rid of any trackers or bugs laying around.
As the name suggests, victims are locked out of their devices. All this starts with a ransomware trap that the victim unknowingly falls into. In this type of a ransomware attack, victims are threatened to pay the ransom to access their files. Screen locked ransomware, however, can be tackled by rebooting the device in safe mode. Once in safe mode, use a ransomware removal program to get rid of the virus and regain access to your data.
The most dangerous type of a ransomware attack, the hacker encrypts your entire data and in order to access the data a ransom must be paid or the data is lost permanently. The best way to deal with an encryption attack is by making use of a preventative approach. Make sure you have a back up so you don’t have to pay the ransom in case of a ransomware attack.
What to do in case of a ransomware attack?
In case of a ransomware attack, disconnect the device instantly so that the infection does not spread to the system. If there are removable storage devices inserted such as a USB or an SD card, pull them out instantly so that the virus does not infect them either. Once the device is disconnected, decide what to do depending upon the type of the ransomware attack. But make sure you take a picture of the message that appears on the screen and report it to the concerned authorities.
How to prevent a ransomware attack
It does not matter who you are or what data you have stored locally if you own a computer or a smart device, you’re at the risk of ransomware. One way to prevent being a victim is by using professional anti-malware or ransomware removal programs. They not only delete any trackers and viruses but greatly reduce the risk of a cyberattack by providing you detailed reports on the security of your data and files. They also warn you of any bugs that a file might contain when downloading through the internet. Moreover, you can schedule the program to run checks regularly automatically or you can do so manually. Similarly, it is wise to store a backup of all your valuable files so that you don’t have to ultimately resort to paying the ransom.