Ransomware is a type of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator(s) of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed.
Ransomware authors continue improving file-encrypting programs and infection methods for Windows and Android, making these nightmarish attacks harder to avoid.
The biggest ransomware threat for Windows users is CryptoWall, a sophisticated malware program that encrypts a wide range of files and demands that victims pay a ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency to recover them.
If you get hit by this attack and don’t have a secured off-site backup, your choices are to lose everything or pay hundred dollars to get your pictures, videos and sensitive documents back.
Because of this, it’s important to establish a backup routine. Files should be backed up to drives or network shares that are only temporarily connected to the computer or that require a username and password to be accessed. That’s because ransomware programs will also encrypt files from folders accessible over the network if they can write to them.
Here are 11 things you can do to protect yourself against ransomware: http://www.welivesecurity.com/2013/12/12/11-things-you-can-do-to-protect-against-ransomware-including-cryptolocker