Secure Business

30 January 2020

Protect yourself against ransomware

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. Earlier this month for instance, cybercriminals let ransomware loose on the IT system of a listed Belgian company and demanded a ransom.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware blocks access to a computer system or encrypted data making these unusable. Harmful software of this kind is usually hidden in phishing emails. Cybercriminals will send an email with an infected attachment or a link to an infected website. If you click on it, you’ve had it! The ransomware will block the contents of your computer and in the worst cases, an entire computer network. The cybercriminals will demand a ransom to release the data and systems. 

A few tips to protect yourself from ransomware

  • Do not click on suspect links or attachments. If you want, you can transfer the email (without opening the link) to
  • Always first slide your mouse over a hyperlink before clicking on it. Check whether the domain name looks trustworthy and whether it refers to the same sender or company. For more information, see
  • Install reliable anti-virus software that updates automatically and protects your device.
  • Regularly upgrade your operating system, browser and programs that you use often.
  • Always make backups of your files and keep them separately from your computer.

The harm has been done. What should I do?

  • Never pay money to restore access to your files. Report the incident to the police.
  • Have you made a backup of your PC? Format your hard drive and install your backup.
  • You will find tips and software on the Internet to repair your data, but don't expect any miracles. The best would be to get an expert to take a look at your infected device.