How does it work?
The ransomware secretly installs itself on a computer that doesn’t have enough anti-virus protection to stop it. This could happen by downloading something from a non-secure website, opening an email attachment, or by clicking on a social media link. The ransomware will lock some files, or even the whole computer, so that you can’t access it. You will receive a warning or notification that you need to pay an amount of money to unlock the computer or your files and information will be destroyed.
How to avoid it
- Don’t click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails that you weren’t expecting
- Avoid suspicious and non-secure sites and download platforms. These websites will offer you free illegal music, movie and image downloads to attract you
- Keep your anti-virus software updated. The right software will catch viruses before they can install. Having the most recent software means you’ll be protected from the latest virus, malware and other threats
- Make copies of all your important files on another storage medium such as a removable hard drive. This means that even though your computer files are locked, you can still access them
- Make sure your operating system is up to date. These attacks often target weak areas in your system created by not having the latest software
- Never store personal or banking information on your computer