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Ransomware (a.k.a. rogueware or scareware) restricts access to your computer system and demands that a ransom is paid in order for the restriction to be removed. The most dangerous ransomware attacks are caused by WannaCry, Petya, Cerber, Locky and CryptoLocker ransomware.

1. Where ransomware comes from: Ransomware is created by scammers who are highly knowledgeable in computer programming. It can enter your PC through an email attachment or through your browser if you happen to visit a website that is infected with this type of malware. It can also access your PC via your network.

2. How to recognize ransomware: It's obvious when your device has been infected with ransomware, since you most likely won't be able to access your computer.

3. How to remove ransomware: Make use of your antivirus software's ransomware removal tool, which should scan for and wipe out any ransomware attempts found on your computer.

4. Free ransomware removal tools: You can download free anti-ransomware tools below. These tools will remove ransomware viruses from your computer and decrypt any files that have been encrypted in the attack. They’ll also inform you about the types of ransomware and show you what they look like.

AES_NI, Alcatraz Locker, Apocalypse, BadBlock, Bart ,BTCWare, Crypt888, CryptoMix(Offline), CrySiS, EncrypTile, FindZip, Globe, HiddenTear, Jigsaw, LambdaLocker, Legion, NoobCrypt, Stampado, SZFLocker, TeslaCrypt, XData

5. How to prevent ransomware attacks

- Make sure all software on your computer is up to date, including your operating system, browser and any toolbar plug-ins you use.

- Ensure that your antivirus software and firewall protection is up to date.

6. Protect yourself with anti-ransomware: There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an antivirus & anti-ransomware software, and the best antivirus & anti-ransomware tool is Avast.

Why Avast?

1. Consistently rated “excellent” by industry experts

2. Trusted by 400 million people worldwide

3. It’s the "Antivirus with the lowest impact on PC performance” (AV comparatives)

4. Best features - unbreakable password security, home network protection, browser cleaning and much more

If you don’t yet have an Internet Security software, you can try it for free here or purchase it now (20% discount available)