'Ransomware' is software that a criminal uses to remotely encrypt the files on your computer, demanding payment to return access. Here are five ways experts recommend to protect yourself and your computer:

  1. Most ransomware is in the form of e-mail that entices the user to open an attachment.
  2. Don't open any files in an e-mail unless you absolutely know what the files contain.
  3. Back up your computer files to an external hard drive frequently, but one that isn't part of a network.
  4. Delete any computer files that you don't need/use.
  5. If your computer is infected, try restoring your computer to one of the backup points. If that doesn't work, you'll have to pay the ransom... or erase your hard drive and start over.
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