What is Ransomware?
They are just another piece of code written by someone else that uses to steal or encrypt your data. By doing that they are requesting money or any other valuable information from you to retrieve your data back. Most of the time it enters secretly and encrypts all data on your Desktop or Laptop and you have to pay a ransom to those people to get the decryption key to recover the data.
How Ransomwares work
First of all, you need to know that they are computer algorithms. Those algorithms are specially modified and focused to do a special task which is Encrypting. If you don’t know anything about encrypting or encryption here’s what it is. It’s a small part that came up from Cryptography. Think that you have to deal with something that connects 100 wires in different sockets with a specific order.
You can write down that order on a piece of paper and once you do that you don’t need to worry even if someone mixed all of them. Why? Because you have the key. But what will happen if you lost that piece of paper somehow. The encryption process is also the same. They make the system do the encryption process by itself and instead of saving it in your Computer, they command the system to send it to the attackers PC and they save it in their database. The attacker is the one who sends the ransomware and we one who suffers from that is the Victim.
In this encryption process, all your data is getting encrypted and there will be a notepad document or any kind of a note from the responsible group that’s saying how much money they want or what resources they need from you to retrieve your data back. And if you try to break this encryption in a wrong way, the probability to lose all of your data is 99% and we can’t be sure about the decrypting software at the earlier stage.
Most of the time you have to pay this money through Bitcoin because it’s completely untraceable. When you send the money they will give you the key and this can happen in several ways. It can be either send us an email, upload it to somewhere else. But in worst-case scenarios both money and data can be lost. Remember these guys are not your friends
How to prevent from being a Victim
1. Use Internet in a Safe Way
Most of the time people get into this trouble because of the Internet. You may have seen some advertisements saying “Download free Antivirus”, “Best Recovery software for Free”
In earlier stages, people thought this is a lucky chance for them and as soon as they click on this, a bunch of unwanted programs entered and crashed the system causing numerous problems. But now people don’t use to click on these. But the ransomware can be anywhere. It can be an image you are downloading, a song, or anything.
No one is going to offer you free software or anything. Download anything from secured sites. Though it doesn’t show any trouble, scan them before you open it. It will be good practice for you to keep your PC safe
2. Keep you Softwares up to date.
You might wonder why there are so many updates from your system or software that even you updated them all very recently. If you are using android mobile, you can see at least one app is there to be updated each and every day.
Companies always try to give the best user experience for us. If developing and releasing is just only enough then there’s no need for software developers. They always check for bugs and errors and to be honest one small bug can cause a loss of billion dollars at once. Once they found any sort of error they fix it and send it as an update. If we are using the older versions without updating that means we are completely unsecure at that moment. So always remember to update your apps and features to get more secure
3. Prevent opening unknown emails or files
A couple of months earlier most of the YouTuber’s accounts were hacked and they were used to inspire people about Bitcoin Mining. This all happens either with an email or a file that has been sent to them as a sponsorship. In ransomware, the process is also the same. It takes only 2-3 seconds to encrypt all your files and ruin your PC.
So only open emails and files from a trusted company or a person. If you are not sure about a company or if you can’t figure it out whether it’s spam or a real one, try using Google to find it out. Remember all information is at your fingertip. If you were asked to turn off your anti-virus program or your virus guard when you are installing something or opening something, you are at a huge risk of being a victim.
4. Don’t use cracked Softwares or Games
We all know that most of the software and games are getting cracked a few months later after release. People who don’t have money or once who think that spending money on them isn’t worthy to try to use this cracked softwares. Mainly they are available to download from torrents and this is the weak point that bad people get engaged.
If you are interested in Cyber Security, you might know how cunning these guys are when it comes to making ransomware, Trojans, Virus and etc. So the best thing is to keep your PC away from the cracked softwares or games. Sometimes you can see huge offers when it comes to buying games from sites like Steam, Epic.
5. Keep a Backup
Maybe you are not familiar with this process but this is the best option that you can use at any time. In mobile phones, all your data have been backed up to your google drive but on desktops or laptops, it’s not the same.
Maybe you are a professional designer, a businessman, or any kind of a person who’s using this modern technology. We all used to store all our valuable information inside our computer to give more security but what will happen if you got all your files encrypted by a malicious program like this. For that keeping, a backup of all your valuable information on somewhere else is a Big Brain thing.
This can be a portable hard drive, google drive, or anything. If you have bigger files you can use Dropbox, Mediafire cloud storages to store them.
6. Give time and Wait
When you got into trouble like this don’t get panicked at once. Remember all these are just another piece of code written by someone. And you are not going to be the one and only victim unless you are a great businessman or a CEO like Bill Gates. After some time people develop some tools to decrypt them back again. But in the first case scenarios don’t try them because they need time to develop and give what you want. If you can manage and wait for 2-3 weeks you’ll get a perfectly working tool that can save both your money and files. And if you can develop a tool like this, you can be famous in one night.
You might wonder why I didn’t mention anything about using Virus Guard to prevent these. From my experience, these files are been tested several times in different platforms and different environments. Bypassing a virus guard has become an easy job for these people by now. So these are the best things for you and me to keep ourselves away from them