What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a virus that blocks you from using your computer unless you pay a ransom, usually of one or two bitcoins, or around $300-500. In a recent report by the Australian government, 72 percent of businesses have been affected by Ransomware in 2015, up from 13 percent just two years ago.
There are several types of Ransomware. Some pop up as a fake antivirus or clean-up system, claiming that your device is affected by a virus and you must pay for it to be removed. Others block your computer and show a bogus FBI warning, saying that illegal child images have been found on your computer and that you must pay them a fine. Yet others enter your computer through a phishing email or fake app and slowly encrypt all your data, keeping the encryption key until you pay a ransom.
Can Ransomware be removed? In some cases, yes. It really depends on the type of Ransomware. If all your data is encrypted and only the hackers have the key, it will be hard if not impossible to retrieve the data without paying the ransom.
Paying the ransom can bring continued troubles, however, as you are opening yourself up to being attacked again. In order to avoid having to do that, always back up your files frequently, so that you have a way to retrieve them, and always fortify your computer with antivirus protection.