Ransomware is malware programmed to compromise a person’s device in order to allow an attacker to perform various intimidating tactics on their victims and demand ransom. A ransomware attack can be done by either locking out users from their computers or putting passwords on a user’s files.

There are several ways in which ransomware perpetrators exploit their victims, but the most common one comes in the form of fake antivirus software attacks that coax users to pay money to fix their issues. Other attacks drown a user with system alerts and pop-ups. Moreover, some attackers impersonate government authorities and claim that their victim has been caught doing illicit activities online.

Most ransomware culprits have the same goal, which is to steal money from their victims. One of the biggest attacks known in recent history is the WannaCry ransomware that spread in 2017. In this attack, malware-infected devices encrypted the hard drives of victims from all over the world. In order to regain access to their files, the victims were asked to pay ransom payments in Bitcoin.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps that can be followed in order to prevent ransomware infections such as keeping your software and operating system up to date, only clicking links that you trust, and never opening any email attachments from an unknown sender. In other words, one should always be cautious of whatever they click online and where they connect their device.