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What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a specific kind of malware (malicious software) that is installed by cybercriminals on to a victim’s computer so that it can be locked from a remote location. Ransomware is installed by unsuspecting victims when opening a malicious email attachment or social media message, clicking on a malicious link, or visiting malicious websites that are disguised as legitimate authorities. Once installed the malware will explain that a computer has been locked (usually due to apparent illegal activity) and access to files and folders denied until payment is made.

Certain strains of ransomware are particularly dangerous if no antivirus software is installed and can result in a total loss of files and folders, with a full factory setting restore the only method of removal. However, like all other types of malware, the problem can be avoided by ensuring Cloud Web Security is installed, Firewall is switched on, and all software is kept up to date.

With ransomware becoming increasingly common, it is also important that you have a disaster recovery plan in place that involves regular backups of files and folders. 

This answer was last updated on 17-Mar-2014 05:03 PM.