Here's how ransomware works: You receive an email with an innocent-sounding subject line, such as "documents," "photos," or "please print." You open the message and the attachment. The file infects your device and encrypts (locks) your data so you're no longer able to access it. The program then sends you a message describing how to install decryption (unlocking) software — but only after you pay a ransom.
It may seem like your only option is to pay the ransom to regain access to your files. That's certainly something to consider, especially if you don't have backups. But, remember there's no guarantee the cyber thieves will grant you access after you pay. The better strategy is to protect yourself against the possibility of such an attack before it happens, using these tips:
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