Ransomware is one of the worst things that can happen to a computer. One of the most destructive forms of malware, ransomware will lock a computer’s files in exchange for a payment. The even worse thing is that many times these files are then unrecoverable because ransomware encrypts the files – meaning that unless you have the key, you’re pretty much up a creek without a paddle.
The best thing that you can do is to protect yourself as best as you can. That means installing adequate antivirus software, antimalware software, and special software tools that can protect against certain ransomware programs.
One such program is Cryptowall Vaccine, a program from Bitdefenders that can stop any encryption of your files, even if you do become infected with the ransomware. It’s a genius program, and one that we highly recommend anyone install on their computer. It’s free, and you won’t even notice it.
According to BitDefender, machines are taken hostage through methods that don’t really require any sort of user interaction at all. That means exploits in your browser could allow the installation of the ransomware from a hacked or infected website. The website could be any site that you visit on a daily basis – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “bad” website such as an adult or gambling site. Any site is subject to being hacked and turned into an infection point of contact.
The only thing you can really do with Cryptowall is to prevent it – there’s really no other way around it (unless you want to pay the ransom). So we highly recommend this free program, especially if you run a business or have unreplacable files.
Another great way to protect against these ransomware attacks is offsite backup to the cloud using software such as Backblaze or Crashplan. These programs can help you to automatically back up data to the cloud so you won’t be out of luck if anything happens to your PC. This is another thing we HIGHLY recommend doing if you haven’t done so already. Just last week I myself suffered a hard disk failure and had I not backed up with Backblaze I would have lost data that was absolutely unable to be replaced.