Ransomware attacks can come from just about anywhere.
Some forms are in the wild, while others are contained to a single computer. The point is, it doesn’t matter where it comes from – it can be devastating.
In its earlier form, Ransomware, which is also known as “keylogger”key cheese,” was brought on by poor computer software. It can be prevented if you take some basic precautions, however, that’s not always enough.
Typical ‘ransomware’ works as follows. It takes a hold of your PC and encrypts all of your files. Once they’re all encrypted, the only way to retrieve them is to pay a fee, usually in Bitcoins or other currencies.
Ransomware gets its name from the fact that it’s really more of a threat than a tool. They can completely immobilize your system, forcing you to purchase the program, usually at a steep price.
Why would anyone want to make you pay for their use?
If you have an internet connection, then there’s little chance you’ll ever have to pay the ransom to get them back. However, those with poor connections may have to do so before the program is deleted or, if the anti-spyware removal tools are ineffective, at least until the problem is fixed.
These viruses typically spread through a series of internet connections, meaning computers that have been infected will contain the malicious software themselves. This is a relatively new threat, with it generally acting like “wildfire” in its initial stages. It starts small and steadily grows bigger, if not controlled.
Fortunately, the answer to stopping this threat is to apply standard security measures. There are many good anti-virus programs out there that will protect you against the newer threats and keep the older ones from damaging your system. Keeping these programs up to date can help too.
Avoid clicking on emails that appear to be from companies you don’t recognize, including those with email attachments. Many legitimate websites will redirect you to other sites with “hackers” for email addresses. Be very wary of any sites that don’t have your name or company on the domain name.
One other approach is to use common sense. If you’re in a hurry, don’t click the link. If you have a reliable anti-virus program, look for its “recover” feature to wipe out traces of the infections that got on your system.
On the subject of anti-virus programs, they can play a big role in keeping your computer safe by updating and maintaining its current firewall protection settings. While not an instant solution, your anti-virus software will protect you from more specific malware threats. Remember that having a good anti-virus program is just one step in a much longer process of preventing Ransomware attacks.
To help prevent these threats, the best and most effective software is a tool called “MalwareBytes.” MalwareBytes is a free tool with extensive protection capabilities, including the ability to scan, clean, remove, repair, and more.
There is a lot of information online, but no single resource has the answer for preventing these attacks, minimizing their effects, and minimizing their impact. A combination of practical steps is needed, but knowing how they are put into place can make a huge difference.