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Be Aware of Ransomware

Ransome(a)ware-ness

For those who don’t know what it is or haven’t heard of it here’s a quick rundown. Ransomware is a form a Malware that has the ability to let a hacker encrypt all your files. This basically makes them inaccessible. These are typically gone for good. Unless you meet the demands of the Ransomware – usually money, which can range from hundreds to thousands. A ransom through malware, hence the name ‘Ransomware’. This malware can be brought onto your machine from a lot of places, downloads, emails, links etc. If something looks suspicious or you aren’t sure about it – don’t click it before you check where it’s from.

Any hacker worth their salt will have the encryption on your files only made to be unlocked with a custom mathematical key they’ve made, making it almost impossible to recover your files. Even after paying the ransom there is no guarantee you will get your files back. You’re unfortunately at the mercy of the hacker.

                                                                                              (Source: www.malwarebytes.com)

“What can I do?”

Prevention is often the best solution. Make sure your operating system (Windows, Mac OS etc) is fully to date, as this leaves less gaps or weaknesses for hackers to exploit. It takes a lot of time after all to find these gaps and code around them!

Another step you should be doing is to make sure you have an anti-virus and malware software installed and working correctly. It sounds obvious, but this decreases your chances of getting caught out dramatically. Plus it’s good practice to always have something like this.

Finally make sure you have an up to date backup of your machine and files. This way you can wipe and reset your machine as soon as you realise and then restore from your latest backup. The amount of data lost is dependant on how regular your backup is. But generally, this is a much better result compared to potentially spending thousands to only maybe get your data back. If you’ve restored from a backup your first priority should be to check you have access to everything and then installing and running anti-malware software.

As you can see in the infographic above, Ransomware attacks can prove to be hugely problematic.

Have you ever had an encounter with Ransomware or know someone else who has? Leave a comment telling us the story. We’d love to know and help spread awareness to stop the same happening to anyone else!

Would you like to know more about backup and how it can protect your business’ data not just from Ransomware but all sort of other threats? You can find more blogs and information from us here. Alternatively if you have a specific question you can always give us a shout and we’ll help you however we can!

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Chris Allen

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