INDIANAPOLIS -- As people spend more and more time online, so too do they face a greater threat from ransomware.
The FBI says thousands of people fall for the schemes every day – resulting in them being locked out of their computers by hackers, who often ask them to cough up hundreds of dollars to get their important documents back.
Ransomware gets on your computer initially when you click on an attachment in a rigged email or a pop-up – possibly something saying your browser is out of date.
Malicious software then finds important files on your computer, encrypts them and holds them hostage until you pay the person who infected your computer a ransom – thus, ransomware.
The FBI says the best way to protect yourself is to be aware and to be skeptical of any email you receive – especially if you don't recognize the sender.
If you do happen to become a victim, the FBI says make sure to report it.
The FBI also recommends having a backup of everything on your computer.