Have you ever had that nightmare where your computer is locked up and a message demanding money pops up on the screen? If you have, then you’ve experienced ransomware first-hand. This type of malware is becoming more and more common, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself against it. In this post, we’ll explain how ransomware works and tell you how to remove it from your computer. Stay safe out there!
How Can You Remove Ransomware?
STEP 1: First, you need to determine if you have ransomware. This can be tricky because some forms of ransomware don’t show any obvious signs. However, there are a few things to look for:
- Your computer is locked and you can’t access your files
- A message pops up on your screen demanding money (usually in the form of Bitcoin)
- You notice strange activity on your computer, such as new files being created or programs opening and closing on their own
If you see any of these signs, then it’s likely that you have ransomware. Don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to remove it from your computer.
STEP 2: Once you’ve determined that you have ransomware, the next step is to remove it from your computer. This can be difficult because some forms of ransomware are very sophisticated and can be hard to detect. However, there are a few things you can do to try and remove it:
- Use an anti-malware program: This type of program is designed to detect and remove malware from your computer. There are many different anti-malware programs available, so you’ll need to choose one that’s right for you. We recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or Norton Power Eraser.
- Restore your computer from a backup: If you have a recent backup of your computer, you can restore it to remove the ransomware. This will only work if you have a backup that was created before you were infected with ransomware.
- Format your hard drive: This is the last resort option, but it will remove the ransomware from your computer. However, it will also delete all of your files, so make sure you have a backup before you do this.
STEP 3: Once you’ve removed the ransomware from your computer, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from happening again. Here are a few things you can do:
- Install an anti-malware program: This will help protect your computer from future infections.
- Keep your operating system and software up to date: Ransomware often takes advantage of security vulnerabilities, so it’s important to keep your operating system and software up to date.
- Backup your files regularly: This will help you recover from infection if you do get ransomware. Make sure you create backups regularly and store them offline (not on your computer).
These are just a few things you can do to protect yourself from ransomware. Stay safe out there!
Types of ransomware
Three main types of ransomware include scareware, screen lockers, and encrypting ransomware:
- Scareware: Scareware, as it turns out, is not that scary. It includes rogue security software and tech support scams. You might receive a pop-up message claiming that malware was discovered and the only way to get rid of it is to pay up. If you do nothing, you’ll likely continue to be bombarded with pop-ups, but your files are essentially safe. A legitimate cybersecurity software program would not solicit customers in this way. If you don’t already have this company’s software on your computer, then they would not be monitoring you for ransomware infection. If you do have security software, you wouldn’t need to pay to have the infection removed—you’ve already paid for the software to do that very job.
- Screen lockers: Upgrade to terror alert orange for these guys. When lock-screen ransomware gets on your computer, it means you’re frozen out of your PC entirely. Upon starting up your computer, a full-size window will appear, often accompanied by an official-looking FBI or US Department of Justice seal saying illegal activity has been detected on your computer and you must pay a fine. However, the FBI would not freeze you out of your computer or demand payment for illegal activity. If they suspected you of piracy, child pornography, or other cybercrimes, they would go through the appropriate legal channels.
- Encrypting ransomware: This is truly nasty stuff. These are the guys who snatch up your files and encrypt them, demanding payment to decrypt and redeliver. The reason why this type of ransomware is so dangerous is that once cybercriminals get ahold of your files, no security software or system restore can return them to you. Unless you pay the ransom—for the most part, they’re gone. And even if you do pay up, there’s no guarantee the cybercriminals will give you those files back.
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Managed Technology Solutions, also known as ManagedTEK – IT Security Services & Monitoring, is a managed service provider that provides IT support and security solutions for businesses throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. ManagedTEK, was founded on an urgency to empower and protect our community from the digital war on personal security and privacy. We focus and specialize in protecting businesses from falling victim to increasingly complex cyber threats. We use cutting-edge technology along with proven cybersecurity practices to provide support and protection for small businesses. Contact us today for your free consultation!