What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software or you can say malware from crypto virology which threatens the user to leak their personal information if the asked ransom is not paid. Ransomware blocks all access to the system by the user.
The word “Ransom” does exactly what the literal meaning for it is. It is basically an extortion software which takes control over the system or maybe any particular file and then asks ransom to release it back to you. Ransom when not paid by the user might result in personal information being released in public or increment of the ransom.
Recently, ransomware attacks are too common in many countries. Major Companies in North America and Europe have fallen under this trap. FBI have advised people not to pay the ransom as it will keep encouraging the cyber-criminal.
Types of Ransomware
Ransomware might end up being a serious threat to your system and has various variants. There are two main categories of Ransomware –
|Locker ransomware-||Basic computer functions are affected|
|Crypto ransomware-||Individual files are encrypted|
How Ransomware works?
Ransomware attacks your system, grabs either few or all files of your system, then asks for ransom to free it. After you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that the decryption code provided to you will work to release your files.
Some attacks install malware on the system even after payment of the ransom and the data is released. Earlier, ransomware attacks were focused on personal systems but now it started to attack business users as well.
How Avast protects from Ransomware Attacks?
Avast now offers free Ransomware protection on Windows and is now enabled by default.
Avast now comes with the feature of protecting your files and media from getting deleted without your prior consent by unwanted Ransomware.
You can easily go through the components of the Ransomware shield under Protection in Avast GUI:
Steps to be followed –
Avast User Interface -> Protection -> Ransomware shield
This Ransomware shield, upon installation of Avast, by default starts protecting all your documents, pictures and folders which you have stored in your C-drive.
Adding Files to Ransomware Shield
You can also add files you would like to protect from ransomware by the following procedure-
Click “Protect New Folder”.
Browse and navigate the folder you want to protect and add it.
For instance, if you want to stop protecting any folder-
1. Select a folder and click “Stop Protecting”.
Avast now comes with more minute controls which might make your experience a bit smoother.
- Suppose, you want to give a special protected mode to a particular folder, by clicking on the Gear icon on the Ransomware Shield page.
- “Smart mode” allows users to modify or delete files of common apps like Microsoft Word.
- “Strict mode” asks for your permission for anything or anyone who tries to modify or delete files from protected folders.
How to Turn-off or Disable Ransomware Shield in Avast?
Ransomware Shield is by default ON after installation of Avast antivirus.
In case, if you want to disable this feature, below are the steps you can follow to do so –
Go to Avast User Interface.
Click on the “Protection” option, then “Ransomware Shield“and then toggle through the setting.
Avast will then ask for how much do you want to turn off the component – choose the “Stop Indefinitely” option if you aren’t sure enough about that. In that case, you can turn it on anytime you wish to.
Click “OK Stop”.
To remove the Alert, go to the status bar, then click on the three-dot menu and select “Ignore”.
What’s the best way to protect against Ransomware?
Cited below are few ways which you can look for to protect your device from Ransomware attacks:
- Defend your email against Ransomware -Email phishing and spam mails are the main reasons through which ransomware attacks your system. Secure your email gateways by blocking such mail ids and URLs and protect your computers.
- Defend web-surfing against Ransomware – Securing web gateway will ensure that ransomware attacks through malicious ads which web-surfing.
- Monitoring server, network and backup systems – Scanning and monitoring files might help you to keep malicious software from attacking your system.
Protect your system from Ransomware
Ransomware attacks might result in serious threats to the system. Avast Ransomware Shield protection which is set by default after installation of Avast Antivirus gives it’s best in protecting the system and files. The versatile adding and removing of files from the Protect Folders section also makes it easier to decide which folders need protection and which doesn’t. If you don’t want to be a victim of any sort of ransomware attacks, then going for an antivirus protection is better.