Wondering how to prevent yourself from Ransomware or Malware? Then, let’s first try to understand the meaning of Ransomware as well as CryptoLocker.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malware that locks your computer and mobile devices or encrypts your electronic files. When this happens, you can’t get to the data unless you pay a ransom. However this is not guaranteed and you should never pay!
What is CryptoLocker?
CryptoLocker is a family of ransomware whose business model (you must be surprised, but a malware is also a business to some!) is based on extorting money from users. This continues the trend started by another infamous piece of malware which also extorts its victims, the so-called ‘Police Virus’, which asks users to pay a ‘fine’ to unlock their computers. However, unlike the Police Virus, CryptoLocker hijacks users’ documents and asks them to pay a ransom (with a time limit to send the payment).
CryptoLocker uses social engineering techniques to trick the user into running it. More specifically, the victim receives an email with a password-protected ZIP file purporting to be from a logistics company.
Important Key Points to note about Ransomeware:
Most of the times, you are not able to get your data back even after paying a ransom.
Sometimes, your data isn’t even encrypted – it’s just hidden. In this case, you can get your data back without paying a ransom.
Keeping a regular, separate backup of your files takes all the power away from ransomware.
Unless your data is extremely valuable, do NOT pay a ransom.
How to prevent Ransomware:
Good News: Prevention is possible. Following simple cyber security advice can help you to avoid becoming a victim of ransomware.
Bad News: Unfortunately, in many cases, once the ransomware has been released into your device there is little you can do unless you have a backup or security software in place.