Ransomware is a particularly vicious type of virus that infects computers and prevents users from accessing their files without first paying a fee, or ransom, which can reach thousands of dollars. Years ago, when this type of virus was first created, ransomware could only gain access to a computer through an opened email. However, the hackers responsible for creating ransomware viruses have gotten smarter and more creative—now ransomware can infect computers via websites through pop-ups or email links.

It is important to educate yourself on these types of viruses, because it is the only way to protect yourself from getting infected. You can read more about viruses in this blog post. Last year, the FBI warned users about a specific ransomware threat called CryptoWall which devastated businesses with its high ransom fees. For a full history on ransomware, read this article by TrendMicro.

Ransomware 101

Now that you’ve been educated on the dangers of ransomware and how it works, you are better prepared to protect yourself from it. You know now that antivirus software is especially important when it comes to aggressive forms of malware. You also know that having a secure, paid-for version of antivirus software is the safest route. More important than antivirus software, however, are safe practices and employee training. Never open emails from unverified sources. Never download anything from an email unless you explicitly trust the sender. Do not click on pop-ups from untrusted websites.

None of these practices will automatically insure that your data is safe, so it is also important that you enlist the help of your local Fort Wayne IT support to keep your antivirus patched and up to date as well as regularly back up your data files. With both the managed service provider and company working together as a team, you can almost eliminate any chance of a ransomware virus infecting your computers.

Do you have any horror stories related to ransomware or other malware infections? Let us know in the comments!