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What is ransomware?

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malware (malicious software) that criminals install on your computer without your consent. Ransomware gives criminals the ability to lock your computer from a remote location. Then it will present a pop-up window with a warning that says that your computer is locked and claims that you will not be able to access it unless you pay.

How do criminals install ransomware?

Ransomware is usually installed when you open a malicious attachment in an email message or when you click on a malicious link in an email message, instant message, social networking site, or other website. Ransomware can even be installed when you visit a malicious website.

How do I avoid ransomware?

There are several free ways to help protect your computer against ransomware and other malware:

What should I do if I have ransomware on my computer?

To detect and remove ransomware and other malicious software that might be installed on your computer, run a full-system scan with an appropriate, up-to-date, security solution. The following Microsoft products can detect and remove this threat:

For more information, see Help protect your PC with Microsoft Security Essentials.