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What is Ransomware?

According to Symantec’s director of security response, Kevin Haley, 2013 was a “phenomenal” year for hacking. Among the 2013 statistics, Symantec reported that there were more than 552 million identity breaches, which was a substantial jump from 93 million the year before. It also saw a 600 percent explosion in the hacking technique known as “Ransomware”.

In this article we will discuss the topic of Ransomware and how users can protect themselves from online threats and hackers.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malware (malicious software) that hackers will install on your PC without your consent. This enables them to lock your PC remotely and then communicate with you via pop ups that you can’t access your PC until you pay them.

How is Ransomware installed?

– Opening malicious attachments in email messages
– Clicking on malicious links in email messages
– Malicious instant messages
– Clicking on malicious links on suspicious website

How can I avoid Ransomware attacks?

– Keep software on your computer up to date. It is important to make sure automatic updating is turned on your PC so you can ensure you are receiving all the latest security updates.
– Keep your firewall turned on.
– If you receive an email from an unknown person (spam), don’t open the email message or click on links found within the body of those messages or the attachments.
– Don’t visit suspicious websites or click on links that pop up.

What should I do if I have Ransomware on my PC?

In order to detect and remove Ransomware or other malicious software from your PC, it is important to run a full-system scan with an appropriate and up-to-date security solution. The following McAfee products can detect and remove these types of threats:

– McAfee Antivirus
– McAfee Virus Scan

While the statistics of Ransomware are alarming and the possibility of being targeted are becoming more common, there are preventative measures that users can take in order to protect themselves. These can include simple fixes like choosing strong passwords, ensuring that your antivirus software is update to date and thinking twice before clicking on links in suspicious emails. These are important preventative measures to share with the members of your team so that your business is less of a target to online threats and hackers.

For more information about McAfee Security as a Service (SaaS) software or for questions about how to protect your business from online threats, contact us today!

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