Consumers are in the dark when it comes to ransomware according to a new study from Kaspersky Labs.
The study reveals that 43 percent of connected consumers do not know what ransomware is, while 44 percent said they don’t know what data or information could be stolen in a ransomware attack. For reference, ransomware is malware that can restrict access to a computer system so it becomes difficult or impossible to access, and poses a threat to both individuals and businesses.
The study surveyed more than 4,000 U.S. and 1,000 Canadian consumers aged 16 or older. The results show that just 16 percent of respondents said ransomware was a cyber threat they were worried about. What’s more, just 13 percent of Millennials – who tend to be tech-savvy – said they were worried about ransomware in general.
Although many don’t know exactly what ransomware is and how it leaves them vulnerable, many consumers would be willing to give up social media permanently to guarantee future protection of their personal digital files. In fact, 26 percent of Americans and 24 percent of Canadians said they would be willing to give up social media to protect themselves.
It is also important to point out that many consumers don’t know what to do if a random attack occurs, with the data showing 15 percent of Americans and 17 percent of Canadians think unplugging the computer or turning off their mobile device is the best way to stop an attack.
“Right now, ransomware is an epidemic. Although it has been around for more than a decade, we have seen a recent explosion of new ransomware families that is cause for serious concern,” said Ryan Naraine, head of the global research and analysis team in the USA, Kaspersky Lab. “With this epidemic, the need for increased consumer awareness about ransomware is essential. Consumers today must not only learn about ransomware, but also use solutions to protect themselves against it, including installing internet security, making sure all devices are updated with available software patches, routinely backing up all important digital assets and implementing better user habits.”
For those looking to protect themselves or business, check out Website Magazine's "Tips to Safeguard against Ransomware."