Most probably every user of a computer or IT systems has heard of ransomware. Unfortunately, this one word means an intruder who can cause a lot of problems and even more damage. What is it and how to protect oneself against it ?
What is ransomware?
Ransomware, also known as rogueware and scareware , is a type of particularly malicious and moreover very effective software that absolutely blocks access to files stored on a computer . It usually encrypts them and demands a “ransom” in exchange for unlocking them. Sounds ridiculous, because it’s just software, but in practice it is not so absurd. Ransomware is a product of gifted and sophisticated cyber criminals, who know perfectly well what they want to achieve. It can infect absolutely any operating system and any device, usually via a email with a malicious attachment (invoice, order information, attached CV in the case of companies). It can also happen that infection occurs through the browser, for example when we visit a site infected with such a script or when we click on the banner with an ad, which aims to take advantage of the browser’s weakness.
How to protect yourself from ransomware attack?
Ransomware is a threat of high complexity, which is difficult, but not impossible, to be defeated. One needs to know how to protect himself and not to delay the protecion, in order to minimize the likelihood of the attack and subsequent extortion. The easiest way to recognize, remove and prevent this type of attack is to use anti-virus software. However, it must be active at all times and regularly updated. It is equally important to protect data on a regular basis by doing back-ups (backups) and storing them on external disks. Thanks to this, in the event of a ransomware attack, instead of paying for decrypting files, one can recover them by himself.