The word "ransomware" can be very spooky. But when you consider how much more dangerous it is compared to many other types of malware, it's truly scary. Large organizations aren't even safe as they have seen a spike in successful ransomware attacks this year.
If you fall victim to an attack you could lose precious photos, music or important documents forever. Even worse, you may have to pay a hefty ransom to some criminal to get them back. I'll let you know how these cybercrimes are evolving and what you can do to protect yourself.
Ransomware's Newest Target
People need to start worrying about their smartphone being targeted. Experts say they have seen a huge rise in mobile ransomware recently. Its detection rate of the malicious software in smartphones has quadrupled over the past year.
In one of the latest scams, the criminals demand a payment of $100 from the victim to unlock their device. The victim has to punch in the numbers of an iTunes gift card to regain control of the compromised smartphone.
PC ransomware led to the development of mobile ransomware. Security experts say the logical next targets would be smart televisions, and smart watches.
Precautionary Steps You Should Take
There are some things you can do to be prepared for a ransomware attack. The first thing you should do is always back-up the things you don't want to lose. If you haven't backed up your files and photos in a while, you should do this immediately. This applies to your PC, smartphone and tablet.
Also, make sure your software is up to date. Keep the automatic updates feature turned on to make sure you have the latest forms of protection.
Be careful when you download files. Only download from trusted sources. And make sure the content you download has the correct extension, if an mp3 has an .exe extension it is not a music file and is most likely malware.