Ransomware: A Danger to Your Data

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Following on from the biggest cyber-attack in the short history of the Internet which took place on May 12th, 2017, when the WannaCry ransomware infected over 200,000 computers running Microsoft Windows across 150 countries.

There has been a new ransomware attack which is now impacting IT systems across the world. This new threat, referred to as the Petya attack, targets Windows servers, PCs, and laptops and seems to be a more advanced variant of the original malware.

Much like the original WannaCry malware, the Petya virus targets through email messages which recommend you conduct a system reboot, after which the system is inaccessible. The Petya virus targets companies mostly – however in today’s technology dominated world, how do we and our personal details stay safe and secure?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software) that infects a computer and blocks access to the device’s data until a ransom is paid.

It can come in the form of spam email, a fake antivirus tool or bogus program, which is why it’s vital to avoid opening emails or links from accounts you are unfamiliar with.

The attacker will often threaten to delete or publish the victim’s data and there is no guarantee that access to the data will be returned if the ransom is paid.

Ransomware is growing in use and as we can see from the Petya attack, cyber criminals are determined to exploit whatever devices they can infect regardless of the machines’ use.

So how do we protect ourselves from ransomware, and what steps should we take if it infects our devices?

Antivirus Software

One of the simplest ways to prevent these attacks on your home PC or laptop is to have an up-to-date antivirus software installed. Antivirus software is critical for all computers as it protects your files, personal information and even bank account details if stored on your computer, in certain cases you may have to replace your hard drive which is unfortunately a costly side effect. At Harvey Norman, we always recommend a top of the range antivirus package to go along with your new laptop or PC such as McAfee LiveSafe, this software provides comprehensive protection for your digital life by protecting all the devices you own. One subscription of McAfee LiveSafe covers an unlimited* number of device licenses so you can protect all your PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets

To make things that one bit simpler, our Lovetech are on hand to install your antivirus software so that your laptop is up to scratch  and ready to use straight away.

Backup Your Data

Another way to protect yourself from potential ransomware attacks is to avoid opening emails and links from unknown sources and to backup your data regularly, as doing so ensures you have a copy of your data in the event of an attack.

If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a ransomware attack then it’s advised that you do not pay the ransom as there is no guarantee that access to your data will be returned.

To avoid ransomware and other types of malware on your device, we recommend you get in touch with Lovetech, our very own technology specialist team.

Our Lovetech team provide a comprehensive range of computer services including identifying and removing malware (Virus Removal).

We have experience with removing all kinds of malicious software. In most cases, our teams can offer relatively inexpensive solutions and our customers are surprised that their data is still intact.

Some services to consider would be Data Retrieval – €80, Virus Removal – €49, Health Check – €40, you can learn about our full range of Lovetech services here

If you have any concerns or questions about ransomware or other forms of computer viruses, please get in touch with a member of the Lovetech team today.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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