Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated September 23, 2019)
Over the last couple of years, a growing threat to computer users has been the rise of what is known as ransomware. Ransomware attacks are caused by malicious malware installed on your computer. This malware allows attackers to possibly encrypt your data or disable your system. Attackers then demand money (often in the form of Bitcoin) to release your system back to you. After a decline in the number of attacks in 2018, 2019 has seen ransomware attacks double. It is estimated that over 13 million Americans, of all walks of life, have been victims of a ransomware attack. These attacks are not isolated to America; it is a worldwide issue, with attacks on governments, large corporations, all the way down to personal computers in our homes.
The best defense against ransomware attacks is to be prepared. One step to doing this has been available within Windows 10 since the October 2017 update. It is aptly named Ransomware Protection. Turned off by default, it is easy to turn on this security feature to help protect your data. Here's how:
Figure 1. The Windows Security section of the Settings dialog box.
Figure 2. The Protected Folders settings in the Settings dialog box.
This tip (13678) applies to Windows 10.
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