Over the last couple of weeks, we at Technology Solutions have seen an upsurge in calls related to Ransomware.
Ransomware is a form of Malware that infects your computer and then holds your files hostage until you pay a fee. These viruses can prevent you from accessing Windows, encrypt your files, or block basic programs, such as your web browser.
Like any virus, ransomware can enter your computer through spam emails, free downloads, and corrupted links or sites. It might also pretend to be an update from Java or Adobe Flashplayer.
Once ransomware has infected your system, you have two choices. Choice one: Pay the ransom, which can be hundreds or thousands of dollars, and retrieve your files. That is, assuming that the people who created the virus keep up their end of the bargain.
Choice two: Get the virus removed and restore your system from backups. Online tools exist for removing ransomware, but often its difficult or impossible to access those options if your computer is locked down by the virus. In this case, an experienced Technical Support Professional is most likely your best option. The tech can use specialized tools to remove the ransomware and restore access to your files.
The best way to prevent your computer from getting ransomware is by keeping your antivirus software up to date. Remember, that antivirus software is only as good as its last update, so update regularly.
If a virus does sneak through your defenses, regular backups will minimize your loses. For more on backup options, see our blog post on the subject.