Ransomware has become outrageously popular in the past few years, and Ransomware as a service has gained even more traction. Ransomware as a service is spreading like wildfire, and if you’re infected and don’t pay up, you can bid adieu to all of the data on your computer. How Ransomware as a service works is pretty simple – it all begins when you click on a link or visit a webpage that has Ransomware embedded in it, and as soon as the Ransomware infects your computer, it starts slowing down tremendously, following which a message pops up onto your screen and locks you out of your own computer.
The gist of the message is, in almost all cases, constant – pay up the amount specified by the Ransomware in the allotted amount of time, or say goodbye to all of the data on your computer which has been encrypted by the Ransomware and will be deleted upon failure to meet the Ransomware’s demands. Once your computer has been infected by a Ransomware, the odds are stacked against you as there is very little chance of you being able to recover the data on your computer without paying the fee – no antivirus will help you and nothing short of a highly destructive clean installation of your OS will get rid of the Ransomware.
The time to fight against Ransomware is not after your computer has been infected by it – it’s before. By periodically creating a system image of your computer, you ensure that, in the event that your computer becomes infected with Ransomware, you can simply restore your entire computer to the state it was in before the infection. A system image is a byte-to-byte copy of your computer’s HDD/SSD and can be used to restore your computer to the exact state it was in when the system image was created.
By default, a system image only contains system drives such as the drive that your OS is installed on and any OEM recovery drives. However, you can include as many more drives to a system image as are connected to your computer when you create it. While there are tons of third-party applications that can be used to create system images of Windows computers, all versions of Windows – including Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 – come with their own utility that can be used for this purpose.
In order to create a system image of a Windows computer using the built-in utility, you can use this guide. As a preventative measure for if your computer ever gets infected by Ransomware, simply create a system image of your computer at regular intervals – say, every seven days, replacing the old system image with the new one. Be sure to store the system images you create on external storage mediums such as USB flash drives and external HDDs/SSDs that are not always connected to your computer so as to protect them from infection should your computer be affected by Ransomware.
If you make a habit out of creating system images of your computer beforehand, in the event that your computer is infected by Ransomware, you can simply restore the latest system image you created, and all will be well again.