Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #332 4/20/2016

Question: What is a ransom ware?


Ransom ware is a vicious and real bad malware. Ransom ware is a program that gets on your computer and encrypts all your files and demands a ransom of some amount of money. Basically a hacker has kidnapped the information on your computer.

If you get ransom ware you will get a message that says your computer files have been secured and that for you to get back in the files you will have to send money to some location. Usually it is that you need to send money to a Green Dot Card. If you do send the money there is no assurance that they will send the code to unlock your computer.

If you get ransom ware there is a chance that they have not really encrypted your files and you can just use a malware remover like Avast and Superantispyware and others to remove the program and all will be ok. However most likely they really have encrypted the drive and unless you know the key they used your files are gone. You will have to delete those files and start all over again. You will still need to run malware remover which will remove the program causing the problem but will not fix the files. Keep your anti-malware programs up to date and tehy will help block ransom ware.

Backups are important and are the only way to retrieve information. Regularly make a copy or backup of data you do not want to lose like document and pictures.

Ransom ware is usually transmitted via links in emails that run programs that download the ransom ware on your machine, If you get an email from someone you know and it is an odd link like they would not send you do not click it. If you are on a PC you can hover over links and see the real address at the bottom of the screen. Your bank is not going to send you an email to fix password or account. Do not put account numbers or social security numbers in forms that appear that way. It is a way common thefts occur. Also do not fall fro same thing on phone calls. The IRS is not going to send you a similar message about your taxes. The ITS will mail you by postal service and not call you either.

Be careful with unknown links. The US Justice Department is not going to send a screen to your computer that says you have child porn and for $300 to a Green Dot card they will not charge you. If you click the link you will get ransom ware. Think before clicking links.