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How to Protect Your Data from Ransomware Attacks

In May 2017, the entire National Health Service’s computer system was shut down by ransomware attacks. Find out how to avoid the same fate.

Ransomware scams have grown in scale and strength over the years. Some of the most successful ransomware scams can yield anywhere from $3 to $18 million from victims. The hackers will threaten to publish the victim’s personal data, essentially holding their personal data for ransom, which makes the name “ransomware” very fitting. Ransomware doesn’t always strike instantly, either, so you may not know that you have it on your device until it’s too late. Click here to use the security scan feature to quickly scan your device for any hidden threats:


How Do Ransomware Attacks Work?
Typically, hackers get the ransomware tech to your phone or computer system through the downloading of a file or some vulnerability in your network’s service. The ransomware essentially acts like a lock and locks up your computer or phone so that you can’t access any of your data or information. The ransomware may then send itself your data so that it can blackmail the victim into paying the ransom to get their private information back. Once the victim pays the hackers, the hackers typically send them an unlock code that will get rid of the ransomware from the system.

Read More: Your Phone Can Be Hacked Even When It’s Offline

What is WannaCry?
In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack targeted computers that were running an outdated and unpatched version of Microsoft Windows as their operating system, which included much of the computers at the UK’s National Healthcare Service (NHS). During this large ransomware attack, the hackers encrypted the data so that the computers couldn’t access their data. After that, the hackers demanded that they get their ransom via Bitcoin because it’s practically untraceable.

However, before the NHS or the other 230,000 infected computers could pay the ransom, a young British computer pro cracked the WannaCry attack and shut down the malware himself. As it turns out, the ransomware attack was poorly designed, which made it easy for the computer expert to find the “kill-switch” and shut down the hack.

How to Keep Your Data Protected
In order to keep ransomware and hackers out of your phone, you should regularly scan all of your devices for malware to ensure that your device is free of viruses and ransomware. Another way to keep your data safe is by creating an additional authentication step for your accounts. By creating a special code or setting up a phone call verification to identify yourself, you can keep your data safe. Also, be sure that you use your own Wi-Fi on your devices because public Wi-Fi is more likely to be hacked.