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Ransomware is Becoming a Bigger Threat to Everyone

Posted in Security/Scams
August 9th 2016 by
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Software known as ransomware is claiming more victims through the use of emails claiming “your package has been delivered.”  Knowing what ransomware is and how to avoid it is key to protecting yourself from becoming a victim to it.

About Ransomware

Ransomware is used to penetrate people’s files without them realizing it.  Ransomware encrypts files so they cannot be accessed until the user pays the hacker, making it an easy way for them to make money. Many of the new types have been derived from older types that are proving to be spreading havoc already this year.  With hackers taking of advantage of any security vulnerabilities they see, or creating vulnerabilities of their own, organizations and individuals should equally be concerned.

New Email Problem

A spam email campaign is now being used to spread ransomware to individuals.  These emails claim that the individual’s package can now be tracked by clicking on the link contained in the email.  They are tricking people into opening the email with the subject reading: “Your package has been successfully delivered.”  When the email is received and links are clicked or files are opened, the computer becomes infected and files are held for ransom.

What You Can Do

However, you can prevent yourself from falling victim to this type of attack.  First of all, do not open any files or click on any links in unfamiliar emails. Next, you should back up all of your computer files to an external hard drive each week, preferably more frequently if possible.  By doing so, if your computer does encounter ransomware, it will have little effect on you since you still have the files that are being held for ransom on your computer.  Just be sure to unplug the external hard drive between backups so hackers will not be able to access the drive.

Be sure to analyze your emails and the source they are coming from.  If you see misspellings or grammar errors, it may be an indicator that it is coming from hackers.  If you do have a delivery on the way, go to the website you ordered from instead of clicking on links or attachments in emails.

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