Ransomware is a type of virus that encrypts all the files on your computer and then demands a ransom to remove the encryption.  Ransomware doesn’t discriminate everyone from large corporations to personal users.  Last month the University of Calgary fell victim to ransomware and was forced to pay ransom of $16,000 to their data.  See the full story here.  These outbreaks serve as a critical reminder that a viable anti-virus solution is an absolute must.  Many users trivialise the importance of anti-virus software on the basis that they are light users.  A common way users are infected with ransomware is through extremely convincing emails that look 100% legitimate.

Emails arrive claiming to be your gas bill or that you weren’t home and missed a package delivery.  The emails may even have your name and other personal information in them.  It is important to look at the email address the email has originated from if you are concerned about the legitimacy of an email.  For example if you receive a power bill from Energy Australia but the sending email address is billing@fran523.energybills.net it pays to be cautious.

Ensure you have these 3 basic safeguards:

  • Anti-virus software
  • Regular file backups including an offsite copy
  • Be vigilant of incoming emails especially if something seems a little off.  A electricity bill when you just paid yours recently or a delivery from a courier when you haven’t ordered anything.  Better safe than sorry.  You lose nothing by asking.

If you are concerned about the effectiveness of your personal or businesses anti-virus solution contact us today and let us conduct a review for you.

Ransomware