The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) recently issued a fresh alert on a virus targeting Windows operating systems. It denies users access to data in their computers until a ransom has been paid. The ransomware virus, which goes by the name Petya, is similar to the WannaCry ransomware virus that massively attacked computers across the world in May this year.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and either locks the computer or encrypts the files. Once infected, the computer displays a message demanding a ransom to unlock or decrypt the computer. The message usually contains details on how the ransom can be paid. The most common method of payment used by cyber criminals is bitcoin.
How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware
- Always keep two backups of your data, one on an external hard drive and another on a cloud application such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Install an antivirus software program that comes with ransomware protection and real-time scanning.
- Never open emails from people you don’t know, don’t download attachments from people you don’t know and never click links in emails until you are sure the links are genuine. A bit of common sense is needed here.
- Keep your operating system and other software up-to-date. Don’t ignore software updates like most people have a habit of doing.