What to Do When Hit by Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming just as common as malware, and it is targeting many companies and individuals. This is the option for hackers who are looking to make money off of the trouble they inflict. So what can you do if you are hit by ransomware?

Pay the Ransom: The Old Method

One option that was being used by the FBI was to pay the ransom. However, the FBI has recently retracted this method of beating ransomware. FBI Ransomware professionals once stated that in order to get your files and information back, the fastest method was to simply pay the hackers what they were wanting. In the end, this was costing individuals and companies anywhere from $200 to $10,000, depending upon the amount of information, as well as the importance of this information that was stolen. From the time period of April 2014 to June of 2015, ransomware from hackers made the hackers around $18 million.

The problem with this method is that can you be for certain that hackers are going to give you back the information that they have stolen? This is a fear of many, and now why the FBI ransomware professionals are advising that people not pay the fee that hackers are demanding.

Ransomware Decryption Removal

The FBI Ransomware infection is one that is installed on your computer, that simply locks you out of your computer unless you pay a random of around $100 or $200 for access again. This type of infection is very common. It installs on the computer once you visit a website that is infected. The next time that you log onto your computer, you will see the information that you are locked out unless you pay the ransom. The good news is that you can remove this type of infection on your own. Here are the steps:

  1. Start the computer in Network Safe Mode
  2. Once prompted, login with the current user account, the one that is infected
  3. Once online, download and safe the Bitdefender Trojan.Ransom.IcePol generic removal tool. It can be found here
  4. Save this file, and then open it
  5. Once opened, start the scan and wait for the tool to finish
  6. Reboot your PC as normal, and the infection should be removed

Ransomware Protection

The real way to deal with getting hit by ransomware, is to have some sort of protection in place. Here are the tips for ransomware protection:

  1. Use antivirus software
  2. Use a firewall
  3. Enable a popup blocker
  4. Back up the content on your computer in the event that you do get attacked by ransomware so that you do not lose everything
  5. Do not click on advertisements, emails or attachments that you do not recognize
  6. Avoid suspicious websites

If you do get attacked, be sure that you file a report with the local FBI field office so that they are aware of this attack. The FBI is always compiling data on these attacks, so that they can warn the general public about this risk. For other helpful tips on securing your online activity, click here.

Encryption Issue with Dropbox: Find an Alternative

When looking at your privacy online, one of the largest platforms that people are using these days are those cloud services that allow them to store information such as Dropbox. Dropbox is a huge client for these types of services, and more and more people are using this. The secure Dropbox company is valued at over 10 billion USD currently, and is continuing to grow. One of the attractive features about Dropbox is that it is simple to set up and even easier to use. However, despite this fact, there is still a love/hate relationship with Dropbox that has many people looking for alternatives.

The good news is that there are several encrypted drobox alternatives. All of which are going to help you to either avoid using Dropbox, or they are going to allow you to encrypt Dropbox so that you know your information is safe while it is being stored here.  Dropbox basically holds the information that you give them, the files, folders, and so forth. However, they really do not encrypt this information as much as many people would like, making it simple for someone to gain access to these files.

Your Encrypted Dropbox Alternative

#1: Sync.com

This is a drobox alternative free that is going to be used for those who are using Windows and Mac. They offer 6 GB of storage for free, allowing you to have all the space that you may need.  A few highlights about this service:

  • They utilize a 256 bit AES encryption
  • All passwords are maintained as 2048 bit RSA private keys

#2: Apps for Encryption Protection on Dropbox

There are several apps that you can use that work in conjunction with Dropbox as a method to keep your information private and secure. A few of these apps include:

  • Boxcryptor
  • Viivo

Both of which work with Dropbox to encrypt the files that you choose, allowing you to have more protection on the files that you choose.

#3: Sookasa.com

With this app, you are creating a separate folder in Dropbox or Google drive. All of the information that is placed in this folder is going to be encrypted. This is free for those who are using this for personal use.

Why You Need an Encrypted Dropbox Alternative?

Though Dropbox may be a great invention in terms of storing your information and files online, it is lacking security. We all realize just how important encryption is, especially after seeing the number of attacks that are happening throughout the world. An encrypted file is much harder, if not impossible, for a hacker to get access to. For those who use Dropbox on a professional level, the information that they store needs to be protected, not only for their sake but for the sake of those whom they are working with.

For those who are serious about encryption, these dropbox alternatives and apps that work with Dropbox are the best option that you have. To even further protect yourself while online, consider a VPN to help encrypt your Internet traffic as well. You can never be careful in a time in which online criminals run rampant.