Ransomware is a rapidly growing and insidious form of digital extortion. Like other malware, it can invade your computer in what looks like a legitimate email or document. You won’t know it’s encrypting your files until it’s done and the demand for payment for decryption arrives.
And ransomware, like all things internet, is certainly not restricted just to the US. Also, it hits individuals and businesses alike; even cities have been targeted. Research company CyberEdge Group found that Saudi Arabia’s businesses have been the hardest hit by this scourge, at 88 percent, followed by Turkey (74 percent) and China (69 percent). The US enters the list at number 9, with 54 percent of businesses reporting a ransomeware attack.
What should you do if your personal account or business is attacked by ransomware? PCMag advises you never to pay ransomeware scammers. Even if you pay up, there’s no guarantee that the perpetrators will follow through and decrypt your files. And unfortunately, even backing up your files religiously won’t necessarily protect you: Some ransomware goes after and encrypts backups too.
We now have tools to help protect against ransomware. One of these may soon become a necessary part of your cybersecurity protection.