Threat Alert: Ransomware Becoming Rampant


One of the very greatest threats you face in terms of cyber crime is something called ransomware. It’s a type of cyber blackmail that is rampant. I’m going to take a few minutes and show you how to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

Hi, I’m John Sileo and this is Sileo on Security. I’m here at a conference in Florida where everybody wanted to know about ransomware. Here’s what it is. It’s a type of malware, it’s a virus that gets on your system, often times because you click on a link you shouldn’t. It infects your system, it freezes it up with encryption, it locks it down so that you can’t get to your photos, your tax files, your documents. You can’t get to any of that until you pay the ransom. Believe it or not, about 90% of people end up paying the ransom in order to unlock those files because they haven’t taken the preventative steps that I’m going to give you right now.

Number one. Never click on a link in an email if you don’t know exactly where it’s coming from, who sent it or where it’s taking you to. That’s how most of this malware, this ransomware malware, gets installed on your computer. You can also hover over the link to see if it’s going where it’s supposed to be going.

Number two. You need to have an offsite backup like in the cloud or elsewhere that is well-protected that happens daily on your data. That way, if ransomware is installed on your system, you have a copy from which to restore your good data. You have the ransomware cleaned off before it enacts and you’re back up and running.

Finally, the option I like the least is paying the ransom. That just encourages this problem to go on and on, but sometimes you have no choice. I see a lot of businesses and a lot of individuals who will pay the $2,000 or $3,000 because they want those photos back, they want those tax records, whatever it is that has been locked up. When you pay it, just know you’re setting yourself up to be a victim again because now they know that you’re going to pay that ransom.

So here’s your One Minute Mission. I want you, if you don’t already have it, to go and set up an offsite backup of your information. You can use sites like SOS Back Up or Carbonite as long as it’s encrypted and protects your data, you’re better to have a copy up in the cloud well-protected, than to have no copy at all to restore from. So I want you to go research it, find a good backup company off-site, and right now, get your system back up.  This protects you not only from ransomware, but if your software ever goes down in another way.

When you have taken this step of backing up all of your systems on an off-site backup, I want you to call the person who subscribed to Sileo on Security for you and I want you to thank them because they are making you safer and your valuable data much more secure.  For Sileo on Security, I’m John Sileo.  We’ll see you next time for another great tip.