Criminals have always been coming up with ways to scam money from upright citizens. Unfortunately, the invention of the internet has made it much easier for them to do so today than in past decades. One of the more troubling cyber crimes that has recently come to light is the propagation of ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that essentially holds a computer hostage, placing unwanted restrictions on program and data access and demanding a ransom from any user who wants the restrictions removed.
When this occurs, recovering data without giving in and paying the criminals can pose a serious challenge. It’s worth taking the time to fix the problem instead of giving in, though. Giving criminals the ransom they are asking for will only encourage more criminal behaviors. Instead, follow the steps outlined below.
The first thing to do is to unlock the device’s screen and decrypt the files. Next, remove any files that have been negatively impacted by the ransomware. Once any encrypted files have been recovered it’s best to have them saved on an external hard drive instead of the infected computer itself. This is because the drive must be formatted to remove the problem completely. Failing to format the drive can lead to recurring problems, even if the ransomware appears to have been removed.
Some ransomware programs prevent users from bypassing the screen lock. If this is the case, simply run the operating system in safe mode and follow the same process outlined above. Unfortunately, some ransomware causes more substantial damage. If the damage done is sufficiently serious, it may be impossible to recover some of the affected data.
The easiest way to access recoverable data is to download a data recovery tool from the internet. Make sure to choose a reliable one that gets good reviews and is published by a reputable company. The tool needs to be installed on an external USB drive rather than the OS drive in order to be most effective. After installing the recovery tool, simply follow the instructions on the screen. The wizard will likely offer the option to scan the computer then select the files that need to be recovered. These should also be moved to an external hard drive.