Any program that intentionally harms your computer, including worms, adware, spyware, Trojan horses and viruses – usually installed without your consent when you click a fraudulent ad or visit an affected web site. Never open attachments or follow links that look suspicious, install firewalls and keep antivirus programs up to date.
This is a form of malware designed to prevent you from accessing your computer system by locking your screen or blocking your files. Because ransomware is designed to corrupt your computer's files – or make them unavailable, it's always advisable to backup data regularly, allowing you to avoid comprehensive data damage or loss.
Peer-to-peer file sharing
Files shared through illicit peer-to-peer (P2P) networks may contain malware designed to steal your sensitive personal information. Use of peer-to-peer websites should be carefully monitored and strictly limited to sites that have an established track record of secure data use and protection practices.
As a general best practice, be sure to perform regular backups of your important files and data, which will prevent comprehensive loss or corruption of important files and information, while facilitating easier data recovery after fraud incidents.