There have been many stories in the media about the increase in ransomware attacks seen at large institutes, including NHS trusts and universities. The perception these press articles indicate is that these institutes are now the main target of ransomware attacks.
The majority of ransomware attacks are however, still ordinary home users. This year Apple computers have become a growing a target for malware and ransomware attacks. Ransomware has become more sophisticated, the developers introducing data encryption to the latest versions.
It is tempting to pay the ransom, but such an action will only encourage the developers of ransomware to continue their illegal activities. There is also no guarantee that paying the ransom will result in the data being returned correctly.
One of the latest methods of distributing ransomware is by taking advantage of the popularity of the anonymous TOR browser. The true scale of the ransomware issue is extremely difficult to gauge as many attacks go unreported, due to not knowing who to report it to, or to avoid a possible loss of reputation.
The best way to protect your data is to be proactive by using a robust backup strategy, to avoid any data loss. Ransomware attacks are fairly rare, but failing to take adequate precautions, such as not keeping security software up to date, or running unknown software could result in you being the next victim.