page contents

Ransomware: Do People Really Pay?

You've likely heard of ransomware. It is a type of malicious software that holds your information ransom, often for a sum of money, either blocking your access or threatening to publish private information on the web. But how often does this happen? Do people really pay the hackers?

People have Paid, and That Only Made Things Worse

As attacks of ransomware have spread and hackers have been successful in receiving their demands, their encryption have become more sophisticated. This means that payment may be the only option. Aaron Higbee of PishMe stated in an interview that "there is very little to do." With the level of encryption being used in ransomware these days, it can be the only option to pay the ransom. Facing the fact that ransomware could be your worst nightmare, how can you avoid it? 

If you can't win the game of ransomware, don't play.

So how do you avoid this catastrophe in your personal life or business? You need to learn how to avoid pishing.

Phishing - phishing attacks are emails that appear to be trustworthy but are in fact a ploy to gather your passwords or banking information.

First, Learn to Identify Phishing

If you receive an email with a link from any source (even one in your contacts list) ask yourself these questions:

  • would the sender actually make this request?
  • is the link spelled correctly?
  • when you hover over the link, is the destination the same as the text in the email?
  • can you verify that the email came from the recipient it is claiming?

In 2015, the reported payout for ransomeware was 24 Million. In 2016 it jumped to 1 Billion. This is a serious threat to businesses and individuals, and avoiding phishing is the best way to win the game of ransomware - by never agreeing to play. If you aren't sure about an email, call the sender to see if it is legitimate. If you receive an email from your bank, verify its authenticity before clicking the link. Don't assume that everything is what it seems when it comes to emails, as phishing tactics are easier to use than you may think.

If you need help detecting phishing or have a concern right now with something in your inbox, we're here to help.