What can you do if your computer is infected by ransomware?

Eyal Goldshmid, Special to TCPalm
Published 4:12 p.m. ET Nov. 7, 2019


Ransomware has become one of the most widespread threats facing the computing world today.

Research on it claims that it finds a new victim every 15 seconds and that in 2018 alone it caused more than $8 billion in damages to businesses and individuals worldwide, including government entities, healthcare service providers and schools, colleges and universities (https://cybersecurityventures.com/global-ransomware-damage-costs-predicted-to-exceed-8-billion-in-2018/).

Ransomware is a category of virus designed to block access to the internet and/or part of your system (such as general Windows functionality, email, internet, etc.) after being installed. To remove it and/or release your information, so the virus claims, you must pay it a specific sum of money (i.e. a ransom).

Often ransomware gets introduced to potential victims via a bogus email or pop-up disguised as a communication from a larger entity, like a phony Microsoft message. When users click on an infected pop-up or download infected attachments from said messages, believing they are trustworthy, they unknowingly install ransomware onto their systems.

Soon after, they will start seeing messages claiming that access to their hard drive and/or to the internet has been blocked for one reason or another and that they either…

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