If you have done a minimum amount of research about data security, then I am quite sure that you have heard of Ransomware. Ransomware is a certain type of malicious software that can take over your computer and deny you access to your own data. When this occurs, the hacker would ask for a ransom in return of restoring the data.
This is definitely quite threatening and is probably one of the worst forms of cyber-crimes. This method is one way cyber criminals extort people, companies and even governments in worst case scenarios. When something like this happens, you might not find any other option but data recovery and computer repair.
How It Works
Ransomware can start messing with your data in a number of ways. The most popular form of this is called phishing spam. During this process, the victim receives certain types of attachments in their emails. These attachments are deadly but come in the disguise of trusted files. If the victim downloads and opens the file, then the hackers take over their computer. This is a mere example of how this is done. Such files can also be sent via social media accounts.
There is one more aggressive way of doing this in which the hacker doesn’t even bother to trick the victim. Instead, they try to break through security loopholes in the victim’s computer and take control by force. To do this, the hacker needs to be very skillful and well-equipped with strong hacking software.
Different kinds of ransomware software have different purposes, but the most common one is to encrypt all the data stored in the victim’s computer. When this occurs, it becomes impossible for the user to access the files without a certain mathematical key. Of course, this key is set up by the hacker and not given to the victim without the ransom amount.
How to Prevent This
Prevention is better than a cure in terms of online security as well. It becomes very complex when your data is encrypted by unwanted individuals. That’s why you have to take precautionary measures. Keeping your computer’s operating system up-to-date is a good start.
Don’t even think of installing programs or software you don’t know or do not seem safe. Having such software in your computer and giving them administrative access can hurt you bad. Install proper firewall and antivirus software that can detect these files and guide you away from them.
Regardless of how careful you are, something might always go wrong, and that’s why keeping back up files for everything should be mandatory.
If your data is encrypted, you have to do a few things immediately. First of all, reboot your windows to safe mode. Then install the antimalware software by keeping the safe mode on. Find out if the system required to find the ransomware program. Once that is done, remove it from the program.
Then restore the computer to its previous state. This is more like damage control as the data has already been encrypted. At least you are not losing everything by preventing further damage. That’s why prevention is always better.
If you think you are not confident in making security arrangements on your own, then a third party data recovery and computer repair company can help you with this. But you need to make sure that you choose a trusted company to help you out.