Traditionally spyware and viruses have been mostly a nuisance as it relates to your PC or laptop. You might notice that your system is sluggish, and you might have to clean up or even rebuild your operating system, or worst case, pay someone to perform a cleanup and spyware removal for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Recently however a new and far more malicious form of spyware has started appearing on unprotected PCs, and its payload is far more dangerous and the cost of recovering from it is far higher than ever before. Its name, Ransomware, says it all – it is spyware that takes over your data or your system itself and holds it hostage from you unless you hand over your hard earned money to the criminal who has infected your PC in exchange for your data or access to your computer back.
With threats like this in the wild, it is prudent to be aware of how you could become infected, what you can do to protect your data and your PCs, and what you should do if you suspect your computer has been compromised.