What happens when your files are kidnapped? Ransomware is a type of malicious software developed by hackers to extort money from their victims. The hacker threatens to publish your data, perpetually block your access to your data, or even permanently delete your data unless you pay a ransom. This is a very real, multimillion-dollar crime and you need to protect yourself. First, backup your data frequently. Protected backups are offline and out of reach of hackers. Second, say no to suspicious emails and links. Never open a link or click on an ad from an unknown source. And, finally, always use security software to protect your devices and always keep your software up to date to ensure you have the latest protections installed.