Ransomware and malware are both types of malicious software that can be installed on your computer without your knowledge. Once installed, these programs can lock you out of your own computer or encrypt your personal files, making them inaccessible to you unless you pay a ransom fee to the criminals who installed the software. In some cases, just clicking on a malicious email attachment or visiting a legitimate website that has been compromised by hackers can result in your computer becoming infected.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from ransomware and malware:
- Keep your operating system and all software up to date with the latest security patches.
- Use a reputable antivirus program and scan your computer regularly for viruses, spyware and other potentially unwanted programs.
- Be cautious when opening email attachments, even if they appear to come from a trusted sender. If you’re not expecting an attachment, contact the person who sent it to confirm that it is safe before opening it.
- Do not click on links in emails or instant messages unless you are sure they are safe. Hover over the link to see where it will take you before clicking on it – often scammers will use similar-looking URL addresses in an attempt to trick you into clicking through to their fake website.
- Install a pop-up blocker on your web browser and only download programs from websites that you trust.
- Back up important files regularly so that you have copies stored safely offline in case your computer gets infected and you lose access to your files
If you have fallen victim to a ransomware or malware attack, contact Argus Investigations as soon as possible so that our cyber incident response team can assist you and minimise the impact of the attack and control the threat.