Informs and engages the UNB community on IT developments and news

Ransomware Don t let Cybercriminals take your computer hostage

Author: ITS

Posted on Apr 1, 2015

Category: General Interest

Malware has the ability to not just steal your information, but  also hold it hostage without actually removing the information from the computer, or lockandkeystealing the computer itself. How does this happen?

Ransomware, a form of Malicious Software, has the ability to encrypt and lock your personal files so even you can’t access them. When you try to access a locked file, a notification may pop up informing you that it is locked and you must pay the ransom to have the file unlocked.

What files will they try to lock?

You may think that cybercriminals are just after financial and banking information, but ransomware will also lock valuable family photos that are saved on your computer. This may not sound severe, but if your photos are only saved on your computer and nowhere else, the ransomware could encrypt the photos so you can no longer access them.

Still feel like this couldn’t happen to you? Don’t take our word for it – Learn how a family was forced to pay $800 to have their childhood, wedding, and honeymoon photos unlocked.

How can you prevent this?

Last week we posted about March being Fraud Prevention Month, and how one of the most important steps to prevent fraud is to be aware and able to recognize what could be a malicious attack on your information.

Another important step is to ensure you have everything important backed up on an external hard drive and unplugged from your computer. Sophisticated forms of malware have the ability to infect not just the computer, but everything plugged into it.

“Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.”