This article contains tips to help understand and prevent ransomware.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware locks your computer’s files, rendering them inaccessible. You will then be notified that you must pay a large sum of money to get your files back. This notification is usually accompanied with a threat that your files will be destroyed if you don’t pay the sum or if you attempt to remove the ransomware software.

How Do I Prevent Ransomware?

Protect yourself from viruses by using caution when opening emails from unfamiliar addresses. Be wary of pop-ups, downloads, and other known carriers of malware.

Additionally, ransomware becomes much less of a threat when you back up your files. Obtain an external hard drive on which you store anything and everything you couldn’t stand to lose in the event of a ransomware attack. That way, even if ransomware does target you, you will have nothing to lose by ignoring its threats. Simply wait for the threat to expire and then return the deleted files to your computer via the external drive.