The internet is full of threats that can completely destroy, steal, or lock precious data. Home computers and business computers alike are vulnerable to malicious software and could fall victim as a result of something as simple as opening a picture. Although internet security software can stop most any kind of threat, there are new viruses being developed all the time. When a new virus emerges, it’s difficult to catch it before a computer is infected. If a computer is infected by ransomware, there are a few steps computer owners can take to get the situation under control.
The first thing to do is disconnect the computer from the rest of the network. Isolating the infection should stop it from spreading to other computers on the network. If the system is connected wirelessly, the adapter will have to be disabled if the control panel won’t open to the network settings. Ethernet cables can be unplugged to disconnect from a wired network. It’s also a good idea to pause and file syncing that might be going on.
The next step is to scan the infected computer. The security software installed on the computer will most likely be infected. Using a live boot of Linux will help overcome infected antivirus software. The entire system will need to be scanned to remove all the traces of the virus. If critical system files have been infected, it may be necessary to reinstall the operating system. Once all the traces of the virus are gone the data on the computer will need to be checked.
When dealing with ransomware, it’s important to remember that paying the ransom won’t result in the system being unlocked. The only way to get around this kind of attack is to remove all traces of the virus and restore all the damaged or missing files. If the ransom is paid, the software will just demand a higher amount. This could cause the company to grind to a halt. Business owners should consult with a cyber security specialist before adding the computer back to the network. Homeowners don’t need to be as cautious, but talking to a professional service provider is still a good idea.