New free Bitdefender tool offers protection from ransomware attacks

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Worried about someone hacking your computer and stealing files or personal data?

Online security firm Bitdefender has just released a new tool that will help to protect your computer from possible ransomware attacks.

The new Bitdefender anti-ransomware vaccine is available for free and offers protection against some most infamous types of ransomware families including Locky, CTB-Locker and Tesla Crypt.

These types of ransomware are able to detect if a computer has been infected previously and whether or not its files have been encrypted.

Bitdefender’s new tool works differently from other anti-ransomware tools in that it fools the ransomware by making it appear like your computer has already been infected.

“The new tool is an outgrowth of the Cryptowall vaccine program, in a way.” Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi explained. “We had been looking at ways to prevent this ransomware from encrypting files even on computers that were not protected by Bitdefender antivirus and we realized we could extend the idea.”

This latest Bitdefender tool (version 1.0.11.26) replaces earlier versions of Bitdefender’s antiransomware tool, after the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall ransomware evolved that which resulted in previous versions no longer offer protection against these and some other strains of malware.

RELATED: A Q&A about the malicious software known as ransomware

While the new tool from Bitdefender is the most uptodate protection against ransomware there is currently, like any anti-malware or antivirus software, it is not totally foolproof and is no guarantee that your machine will be protected indefinitely.

Ranwareware is the fastest growing form of cyber attacks and is estimated to cost business and private users hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Earlier this week, a group of hospitals in Washington were forced to close after its computer network had become infected with malware.

While antivirus protection offers a last line of defence against ransomware, the best way to help protect against this type of attack is to make sure you always keep software on your computer up to date. You should also avoid using counterfeit copies of software, especially Windows. As well as being illegally, copied software, which is commonly used in Thailand can often leave your device wide open to a cyber attack.

You should also ensure that browser plugins for things like Java, Silverlight, Adobe Reader and Flash player are always kept up to date.

Remember to pay close attention to any email or SMS you receive that contains an attachment or link that you are not familiar with, regardless of the source of the message.

RELATED: Computer users face hard choice: pay ransom or lose files

If your hard drive contains particularly sensitive, important or sentimental files or personal data then you should think about backing up your hard drive on a regular basis, perhaps monthly, weekly or even daily, to provide yourself with maximum protection.

Install and run a reputable and well known anti virus protection and run a virus scan at least weekly, or even daily if necessary.

Typically Windows PCs or Android devices are the main target but ransomware attacks on Mac also exist.

The Bitdefender Antiransomware Tool is available on Windows 7 (32 bit),Windows 7 (64 bit),Windows 8 and Windows 10 and can be downloaded from the Bitdefender website.

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