What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware, or “malicious software,” designed by hackers or cybercriminals with the intention of stealing your information and essentially holding it hostage until you pay them.
Ransomware can “grab” any information stored in your computer, including documents, files, photos, and sensitive information. Not only will you be blocked from accessing this information, but you’ll be charged a “ransom” in order to regain control over it.
How does ransomware get on my computer?
There are a number of ways ransomware can get on your computer. Since it’s designed by advanced hackers and cybercriminals, ransomware will be camouflaged as emails, files, and links, and might be difficult to detect.
How do I protect myself against ransomware?
The first step is to be aware of what you click on, what you download, and what websites you visit. Ransomware can often show up in email attachments or files sent to you on social media. It’s important to take a second before clicking on a link or file shared with you, and to ask yourself if you know who sent it, if you trust that person, and if the communication sounds like it is legitimately from them.
Cybercriminals are always creating new malware and ways to camouflage it better, so the best way to protect yourself from ransomware is to use cyber security software. Companies like Norton and McAfee are well known for software that successfully protects your computer from ransomware and all the other forms of malware being created.
The Best Antivirus Software
The following are some excellent antivirus products—all of which we can strongly recommend.
Norton is by now a household name in the antivirus and anti-malware space. Norton Antivirus Plus is available for both Windows and MacOS. Its tools include a firewall, cloud backup capability, alongside real time threat protection. If you’re looking to put your money on a safe bet for ensuring well-rounded protection, then Norton is a great option.
- Avoid unsafe websites
- Malware and virus scanner
- Comprehensive parental control features
TotalAV includes internet security features and a malware blocker alongside one of the best antivirus engines in the industry—one which has been successfully put through independent benchmarking labs and come out with (mostly) flying colors. Another highly recommended option.
- Well benchmarked antivirus engine
- Internet security features
- Comprehensive malware blocker
McAfee Total Protection is a premium antivirus, safe web browsing and PC optimization tool. It also includes a VPN—although the bandwidth limit means that it is not suitable for daily recreational use (like streaming multimedia. Nevertheless, it contains a great assortment of features and is a strong tool for any user needing reliable protection.
- Safe web browsing
- PC optimization and speedup tool
- Includes a VPN
Get the Protection You Need
Antiviruses these days do a lot more than just thwart viruses. Consider subscribing to one of our recommended products and get your computer protection up to par.