While you can try to avoid scammers from
hijacking your computer by keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date
and by not clicking on anything
suspicious, the risk will linger as long as scammers exist.
After a scammer has gained access to your computer and locked it down using
Ransomware, typically you will see a message on the screen demanding that you
send money in order to have your computer and files back. If you decide to pay
the ransom, you’re obviously not going to send a scammer a check or money via
PayPal, as that is traceable. Instead, scammers are using an international
cyber currency, called Bitcoin, to request
Bitcoin is unique in that it does not utilize a bank to process transactions nor
does it rely on a government to issue the currency. It’s most similar to cash
in that any exchange of Bitcoins is irreversible. Bitcoins are purchased
through an exchange using a credit card or your checking account and sent
electronically for minimal exchange fees. To collect Bitcoins, you can have
funds collect in your wallet, sent back to your linked accounts, or you can opt
for a Bitcoin debit card.
Overall, if you decide to give Bitcoin a try, its website provides a
great tips and resources to keep you safe.