PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Imagine hackers holding your computer files hostage—and then demanding money to get them back.
It’s called ransomware, and if you are a victim of it, you’ll get a message on your screen that says your files are being held until you pay up.READ MORE: Man Tasered, Arrested In Pittsburgh's South Side Following SWAT Situation Prompted By Threats Made Towards W. Va. Schools, Businesses
Don’t click on that message window unless you are willing to pay.
To make sure it’s not just a phony pop-up, Consumer Reports says to close your browser and if it comes back, then you may have a problem. If you have a good backup of your data, you won’t need to pay the ransom.
If you don’t, you might actually need to pay the hackers to get your files back. If you do have a backup, you can transfer your files to a clean computer. Or, you may be able to rebuild your system. A computer professional can help with this if you don’t have the skills yourself.READ MORE: All Pennsylvania Residents Age 16 And Older Now Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine
To make it harder for hackers to gain access to your computer, experts at Consumer Reports say, keep your operating system and all software, including security software, up to date. Even better, turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it.
Consumer Reports urges using preventative measures and says read any pop-up very carefully before clicking, even on a trusted website.Carnegie Library's Downtown Branch Preparing To Reopen Next Week
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.