Ransomware is becoming the largest threat to home and work computers. Ransomware basically encrypts your files and presents you, the user, with the option of playing to decrypt your files. Basically, your files are held hostage until you pay. What can you do?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Many of the anti-virus / anti-malware software packages now come with some sort of anti-ransomware protection now.However, it is important to make sure the feature is turned on and that you have the most up-to-date version of the software. (BitDefender Ransomware Protection show above.)
Backup files to external hard drives or the cloud.Be care not to simply sync your local files from OneDrive, DropBox, or Google.Because once your local file is encrypted it will by synced by the storage service to the cloud.You will end up with two copies of the encrypted files.Better to manually sync the files or get protection against the bad guys (see 1 above).
Well what if you didn’t take precautions and you have been hit, what do you do?
You can pay the ransom and hope some bad guy will actually keep his or her word. Or
You can try some of the free or pay for tools that can decrypt the files manually.Kind of like a rescue mission for your files. However, the bad guys keep coming up with new ways to encrypt and the good guys keep coming up with tools to recover.So, you may end up having to wait or possible never getting them decrypted.Again, prevention is the best.
The worst thing to do is nothing. Putting you head in the sand like an ostrich want save you from a ravenous lion.
Video on ransomware and removal
More on Ransomware on Wikipedia