Imagine losing access to all of your critical data out of blue then you are being forced by criminals who demand payment in order to retrieve. This is a new malware known as Ransomware.

Ransomware silently encrypts your files, before demanding payment for their return – often with a time limit.

It targets your most valuable files, like photos, videos, and documents, it can also lock down system files, your web browser, applications, and entire operating system unusable.

How did it get into my computer?

It is spread via malicious email links and attachments – often concealed by changing the file extension and compressing the malicious code into a zip file. Opening the file infects your system.

Ransomware can also be bundled into other applications, such as games, video players, etc. So any application from an unknown or untrusted publisher is a potential risk upon installation.

Once on your system, ransomware works in the background, connecting to a remote server to encrypt single files, whole directories of files, or complete drives.

Phone Scam

phonescamPhone Scam: Don’t Fall For It
This is a common phone scam. Someone calls you at home or at work indicating that they are a computer security expert from Microsoft or another legitimate company. They sound legitimate. They tell you that they have detected malware or a virus on your PC or and that they can help you fix it. They will ask you to turn on your computer so that they can walk you through the fix.

The scammer may then:
•Obtain remote access to your PC or laptop and are then able to access your personal data;
•Get you to download malware; or
•Ask for money in return for “protection” from the malware that is not really on your device.

How To Avoid It?
Best bet: Hang up the phone. It is not legitimate.Phone Scams
The scammer will try to keep you on the phone and convince you to provide them information in an effort to solve your problem. Don’t provide them any personal information; don’t a
allow a stranger to guide you to a certain web page, or instruct you to change a setting on your PC or download software.

For more information
Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center at Microsoft Security link – POP UP window will open

Someone called? visit FCC to report scams. FCC Complaint Assistant Form – POP Up window will open