Unfortunately, this one is as terrible as it sounds. Ransomware is when scammers
gain access to your computer and lock it (and all of your files) down
completely unless you pay for an encryption key. Worse yet,
according to Identity Theft Expert, John Sileo, scammers may not hold
up their end of the deal if a ransom is paid.
With ransomware becoming more popular, we wanted to outline a few things you can
do to protect your computer from this scam:
Make sure your computer has
up-to-date anti-virus software that will scan both your computer’s hard
drive and your email regularly.
Don’t get baited by
phishing attempts. This means not clicking on suspicious links in your
email. If the email is from someone you know, but the message seems out of
character, you should consider calling that person to confirm the message is
indeed from them and not a scammer.
Be wary of clicking on any pop-up advertisements and/or downloading any “free”
software, games, etc. from any website.
Regularly back up all of your important files and pictures from your computer
onto a portable hard drive.
For more tips on how you can reduce your risk of ransomware, check out this
press release from the FBI.