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How Your Computer, Tablet, and Smartphone Can Be Held Hostage With Just A Single Click

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Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 12:20PM

Everyone knows you should download virus protection on your computer, but what about your tablet or smartphone? Now with just a single click to watch a funny video, or opening up an email you can have your phone taken hostage. Ransomware is a malicious code that takes over your phone by either locking you out or scrambling your data until you pay a ransom to the hackers. These cyber attacks are usually targeting not only individuals but also large companies and local businesses. So be careful when you are checking your personal email or work email while on the job, you could accidentally click something that could take down your whole network.

These cyber criminals make you think that if you pay the ransom they will return all of your devices data to you just the way you last had it, but that is not always the case. If you get a message on your phone that looks like it is from the FBI or simply a lock screen with a message saying pay a release fee, you are a victim of this cyber attack. The FBI scam will make you think that you are in trouble with the government by downloading illegal videos or inappropriate videos onto your phone and saying that they will report these illegal activities or that you have to pay a fee for these illegal actions to the government, even though you are not the one looking at or downloading these illegal videos.

Police say that if you get this message come to the station and report it because they will be able to tell it is a case of ransomware and will report it and try to assist you. Don’t be too embarrassed or ashamed of what the ransom note is saying you were watching because this is happening to millions of people. CryptoLocker, which uses email attachments to attack your device, has already taken around $30 Million dollars in just 100 days.

Ransomware is not anything new, it has been around since 1989 but now there is a wider variety of devices they can target with millions of people on them every day. Some smartphone users are using apps like Lookout or Avast to have security software for their phones. Another way to help avoid getting these viruses on your phone is by making sure you only download apps and software from the Apple Store, or Google Play stores.

Crypto-ransomware scams are not only targeting individuals. Crypto-Ransomware scam emails also brought down ABC News 24 in Australia in October of last year. This knocked them off air for 30 minutes.

Ransoms can range from $200.00 to $5,000.00 and you usually have a countdown clock with a deadline of when you have to pay by before they delete all of your personal information on your device.  While the government tries to find ways to defeat these viruses the hackers advance their virus and now they have come out with CryptoWall and CryptoWall 2.0 which is mainly used to target a computers hard drive, shared drives, and external hard drives. The hackers will usually make you pay through bitcoins and will leave step-by-step instructions on how to purchase these in the ransom note.

To avoid this happening to you and your personal devices; don’t forget to download virus protection for all of your devices, and don’t click on any links or download any data from anyone you don’t know. However, if this does happen to you then you need to report it immediately. Make sure your business is secure with IT support in Daytona Beach, Florida with Vann Data Services, Inc. 

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