Crypto malware has been around for a few years now. It really is the stuff of legends, only it’s very real. It sneaks onto your computer when you’re not aware and encrypts (scrambles with a code) all your documents, photos and other important files then demands a ransom to decrypt them again. Read on to find out how you’re best to avoid it and what to do if it strikes your PC.
- If you are unlucky enough to be infected with a crypto malware, chances are you won’t notice anything for a while. That is because the program does its “dirty work” first and then tells you that it’s happened much later! By chance, you may have difficulty opening a document or a photo that you’ve been working on recently. If this happens, immediately shut down your PC/laptop and call your IT support company.
- If you’re in an office environment, make sure you alert someone that it has happened. Like anything, catching it early can minimize the damage caused. Don’t be tempted to try to “fix” things yourself or, worse, ignore it. This particular malware is VERY nasty and will encrypt (effectively scramble) every document that it can find on your computer and any other computer, server or storage device that it can connect to. In a network environment, it is particularly important to make sure that whoever first discovers any irregularities with opening common documents should alert those in charge of the IT systems. The best way of dealing with it is to immediately shut down ALL computers and servers and then carefully eliminate “clean” computers until the infected computer(s) can be found and “cleaned”. Make a plan and ensure everyone knows to follow it.
- Don’t pay the ransom! The malware creators will demand a “ransom” for decrypting you files. Don’t pay, it only encourages them!! Seriously.
Be safe out there! For further information, contact UPBEAT Business Computing.