What is a Ransomware Attack and How to Protect Yourself from It?


Ransomware assaults have probably come up in recent years if you’ve been following the news. This kind of assault may be disastrous for both individuals and companies since it can lead to the loss of crucial data, costly repairs, and reputational damage.

We’ll discuss ransomware attacks in this piece, including what they are, how they work, and—most importantly—how to avoid being a victim.

How do Ransomware Attacks Work?

A hacker obtains access to your computer or network and uses ransomware to encrypt your files, rendering them unavailable. When you request the decryption key to open your files, the attacker often demands payment in bitcoin.

In addition to vital data being stolen or destroyed, ransomware attacks have the potential to cause severe financial and reputational harm to both enterprises and people.

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How Do Ransomware Attacks Happen?

Ransomware attacks typically occur in a few distinct ways, such as:

  • Phishing emails designed to trick users into clicking on a link or downloading an attachment that contains the ransomware
  • Malicious downloads that get installed when users visit unsecured websites or download software from untrusted sources
  • Exploiting vulnerabilities in software or operating systems to gain access and install the ransomware

Whatever method the thief chooses to employ to infect their victim’s PC, the rest of the ransomware assault is quite simple.

The victim’s data are encrypted as soon as the ransomware is deployed. In order to obtain the decryption key, the hacker who carried out the attack then wants money.

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Critical Ransomware Attempted

There have been a number of high-profile ransomware attacks in recent years; WannaCry is only one of them. Here are some notable examples:

  • WannaCry: As previously noted, around 200,000 machines across 150 countries were impacted by the WannaCry assault in May 2017.
  • Petya/NotPetya: In June 2017, businesses in the Ukraine were hit by a ransomware assault known as Petya or NotPetya, which then swiftly expanded to other nations, including the United States.
  • Ryuk: Ryuk ransomware has been used in a number of assaults against significant institutions, including as hospitals and governments. In 2019, a Ryuk assault occurred in the American city of Baltimore, disrupting local services and requiring millions of dollars to repair.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more. Additionally, there are significant efforts that people can do to safeguard themselves in addition to businesses and local governments in order to protect themselves against ransomware attacks and other security threats.

Let’s look more closely now at ways to keep your data protected.

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How Can Ransomware Attacks Be Prevented?

It’s critical to take the following actions to safeguard your files from ransomware attacks:

  • Keep your software up to date: Be sure to routinely update your operating system, antivirus programme, and other apps to fix any security flaws.
  • Whenever feasible, activate multi-factor authentication (ideally using an app rather than a phone number, to guard against SIM card swap frauds), and use complicated, hard-to-guess passwords.
  • Copy of your files Backup your vital information frequently to a cloud storage platform or external hard drive.


There are actions you can take to prevent ransomware attacks, but they can still significantly harm people and organisations. You may reduce your chance of being a victim of a ransomware attack by maintaining the most recent versions of your software, using strong passwords, routinely backing up your information, and avoiding dubious emails and attachments. To safeguard yourself and your data from these damaging assaults, it’s critical to pay attention and take preventative action.

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