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The big new threat on the internet these days is ransomware. What’s that? It’s a type of malware which prevents the user from accessing data on their own device. The only way to gain access is to pay a ransom to whoever infected the user’s device with that malware.

Malware is the tool of choice for several miscreants today. After all, we put a lot of our personal data on our storage drives. And more and more exploits are being found on different devices. It’s interesting to read the history of ransomware and its future A History of Ransomware: Where It Started & Where It's Going A History of Ransomware: Where It Started & Where It's Going Ransomware dates from the mid-2000s and like many computer security threats, originated from Russia and eastern Europe before evolving to become an increasingly potent threat. But what does the future hold for ransomware? Read More , but here’s a short video explaining it well.

The larger point is trying to figure out what to do to prevent or solve these problems. There are some websites and tools are trying hard to inform people about new ransomware exploits, as well as block them. And in case the worst has happened, some even offer tools to decrypt what the malware has locked.

1. No More Ransom (Web): Learn About Ransomware and Track New Developments

Much like the “don’t negotiate with terrorists” policy that several nations adopt, No More Ransom has a similar policy for ransomware. Don’t pay these scammers 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Pay Ransomware Scammers 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Pay Ransomware Scammers Ransomware is scary and you don't want to get hit by it -- but even if you do, there are compelling reasons why you should NOT pay said ransom! Read More , the site advises, as it works hard to help you overcome your problem.

The site is a collaborative effort by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security. Plus, it is an updated resource about the latest malware and tools to decrypt ransomware.

Sure, not all ransomware has solutions. But No More Ransom should be your first stop in this fight.

2. ID Ransomware (Web): Find Which Ransomware You Are Infected With

You probably know that there isn’t one single computer virus in the world, there are hundreds or thousands or millions of them. Similarly, even though it’s relatively new, there are hundreds of types of ransomware. ID Ransomware helps you figure out which one you’re infected with.

The site asks you to upload the “ransom note” you got or the encrypted data that you can’t access. Then it’ll figure out the type of ransomware, like the nasty Cryptolocker CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here's What You Can Do CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here's What You Can Do CryptoLocker is a type of malicious software that renders your computer entirely unusable by encrypting all of your files. It then demands monetary payment before access to your computer is returned. Read More , the infamous FBI ransomware FBI Ransomware Hits Android: How To Avoid Getting It, And Remove It FBI Ransomware Hits Android: How To Avoid Getting It, And Remove It Learn how to keep your Android device safe from FBI Ransomware with these tips. Read More , or any other malware Mac User With Ransomware? How To Easily Remove This "Malware" Threat Mac User With Ransomware? How To Easily Remove This "Malware" Threat The FBI Ransomware didn't only affect Windows users; Mac owners were conned into paying up. Ironically, however, the OSX version wasn't really malware, but merely a browser popup that is easily removed. Read More . With that information, you can attempt to decrypt your locked files and get your data back, thus becoming free from that ransom.

3. Avast Decryption Tools (Windows): Fix Your Encrypted Files

So, let’s say the worst has happened and you now need to access your encrypted files. Like we found with No More Ransom, not every malware has a solution yet. But Avast has managed to crack some of the most popular ones and provided free tools to fix the files.

Avast currently has decryption tools for Alcatraz Locker, Apocalypse, BadBlock, Bart, Crypt888, CrySiS, Globe, Legion, NoobCrypt, SZFLocker, and TeslaCrypt. It also shows you a screenshot of what an infected file looks like, as well as the ransom note, so you can more easily identify your ransomware.

Just download the tool, run it, and hopefully your files should be fixed. Some of the newer threats like JavaScript ransomware Your New Security Threat for 2016: JavaScript Ransomware Your New Security Threat for 2016: JavaScript Ransomware Locky ransomware has been worrying security researchers, but since its brief disappearance and return as a cross-platform JavaScript ransomware threat, things have changed. But what can you do to defeat the Locky ransomware? Read More aren’t covered, but hey, it’s a start.

4. CyberReason RansomFree (Windows): Real-Time Ransomware Protection

Right now, CyberReason’s RansomFree is possibly the best free tool to combat ransomware. It’s an ingenious solution for real-time protection against ransomware Protect Your Data From Ransomware With These 5 Steps Protect Your Data From Ransomware With These 5 Steps Ransomware is scary, and if it happens to you, it can make you feel helpless and defeated. That's why you need to take these preemptive steps so you don't get caught off guard. Read More .

RansomFree monitors the background processes in Windows. But instead of looking for odd entries, it monitors for odd behavior. The difference is significant, since monitoring behavior is like monitoring symptoms. The minute you see the patient is exhibiting abnormal symptoms, you know a disease has hit, and a doctor can jump into action. It’s the fastest detection, and that’s what RansomFree does.

RansomFree is completely free to download for Windows 7, 8 and 10, but there are no versions for MacOS or Linux.

DownloadRansomFree for Windows (Free)

5. Avast Mobile Security (Android): Keep Your Phone Safe

No, your smartphone is not immune from the threat of ransomware. And look, the only thing that is going to keep you completely safe is to understand common ransomware scams Avoid Falling Victim To These Three Ransomware Scams Avoid Falling Victim To These Three Ransomware Scams Several prominent ransomware scams are in circulation at the moment; let's go over three of the most devastating, so you can recognise them. Read More so you don’t fall victim to them.

But the next best thing for phones is Avast, the free mobile security suite that provides all the features of paid apps. Even the latest AV-Test report supports that. And this is an important app to have on Android, where manufacturers don’t always issue security patches or updates on time. Your Android device needs an antivirus app Does Your Smartphone Need Security & Antivirus Software? Does Your Smartphone Need Security & Antivirus Software? Does your Android phone need an antivirus? What about your iPad? Your BlackBerry or Windows Phone? The answer is actually a bit complicated. Let's take a look at your options. Read More , especially if you are using an older phone or tablet.

There are plenty of paid apps that also do a great job, like ESET, Kaspersky, and others. Use the AV-Test report as a guideline to choose your app.

DownloadAvast for Android (Free)

Have You Been Infected?

Have you faced a ransomware attack so far, where some of your files are no longer accessible because a miscreant has infected the device with malware?

What did you do? How much did you have to pay? Tell us your ransomware story in the comments.

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  1. apksecurity
    February 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Nice article about android phone security