For many people, the inner-workings of technology and cybersecurity are a mystery, so panic sets in when our computers or smartphones get hacked. Suddenly, we need to understand the computer hacking skills of the experts.
A few years ago, computer hacking was more of a rare occurrence, but with the online generation, hacking is now more common and undetectable. The world of hacking has become a business platform from which people earn profits. Targets in the market have grown and they are always coming up with new ways to trick online users to allow access into their computer systems.
One of the most destructive forms of hacking is known as ransomware. Microsoft recently released the number of machines affected by ransomware viruses, and the United States was the highest with a count of 320,948 machines affected. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks your computer or certain files on your computer from your access. The only way to unlock this virus is to pay a set fee sent to you by the hacker.
How do you end up with a ransomware virus?
It can be as simple as downloading a bad link, plug-in, or opening an encrypted email. There are two categories ransomware viruses fall under Lockscreen Ransomware and Encryption Ransomware. With Lockscreen Ransomware, the hacker locks the person out of their computer, and Encryption Ransomware encrypts certain files on a computer so that they are unreachable to the user. The only way you can gain control of your documents again is to pay the fee with money or bitcoins. From those main categories, ransomware has expanded into Master Boot Record (MBR), Locky Ransomware, CryptoLocker and Cryptowall.
The issue with ransomware is not figuring out if you have it because that is made quite clear by the hacker; it’s figuring out how to stop it.
How can you stop ransomware?
A frantic call to your computer provider will most likely lead you to download an anti-malware software, like Malwarebytes. In instances where your entire computer is locked, you will need to turn to more extensive measures and purchase a quality anti-ransomware software. Not all ransomware viruses are cut-and-dry, so it is important to contact an IT provider, such as Outsource Solutions Group, if all the bugs are not worked out or you are suspicious of a breach of your personal information.
To prevent a ransomware attack on your computer, it’s always a good idea to download anti-malware software to block any future attacks. Most anti-malware software downloads are free, so cost is not a concern. Another tip is to make sure your files are all backed-up on an external hard drive or on The Cloud. After you have completed those steps, just be wary of sites, internet downloads, and pop-ups from discreditable sources. These are often where hackers place the bait for their malware viruses.