What is ransomware?
Your device seems to be locked, you can no longer open any files and a ransom is being requested. You are the victim of ransomware: a virus that locks your computer.
Ransomware is a virus that is installed on your device without your permission. Chances are that you were infected after clicking on a link or opening an attachment in a fake message. The ransomware virus locks your device and files and demands a ransom. In some cases, this also means that you no longer have access to other devices, such as a hard disk, a USB drive or your online files.
What can you do?
In the event that you are infected by ransomware:
- Switch off your Wi-Fi or unplug your Internet cable.
- Immediately disconnect all other devices, such as external hard disks and USB drives.
If your device is completely blocked and a ransom is requested:
- Check www.nomoreransom.org to see whether the key for this ransomware is available. Some versions of ransomware cannot be removed at this time. If that is the case, you are advised to store the blocked files in another location. Some types of ransomware can ultimately be removed over time (after months or years).
- Perform a full reinstallation of your device and use a backup to restore your data.
- Do not pay: you have no guarantee whatsoever that you will recover your data in a safely. Moreover, there is a risk that the virus will not be removed entirely or that loopholes have been created in order to re-infect your device in the future. Finally, doing so would give the criminals what they want: your money.
- Consider filing a complaint with the police.
How can I reinstall my device and restore a backup?
Below, you will find a link providing all the information you need to perform a new installation yourself, depending on your operating system.
For information about restoring a backup to other devices or programs that you have used to make a backup, please visit the seller’s website.
If you are unable to do all this yourself, please contact a professional computer repairer. Deleting ransomware is a technical challenge. Be sure to give the expert this link: www.nomoreransom.org.
How can you avoid falling victim to ransomware?
Learn to identify fake messages.
Scan your computer regularly using anti-virus software.
Make regular backups to help in case you get infected
Back up your files regularly or back up your files and keep them in a safe place and away from your computer or in the cloud.