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Remember my Three Rules of Online Security: 1: If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it. 3: If you no longer need it (or, if it’s become too big of a security risk) get rid of it.

Bleepingcomputer’s Lawrence Abrams just published this a nice primer called How to Protect and Harden a Computer Against Ransomware.

Many companies are now selling products that claim to block ransomware attacks.

See, the key objective of ransomware is a psychological one — to instill fear, uncertainty and dread in the victim — and to sow the conclusion in the victim’s mind that any solution for restoring full access to all his files involves paying up.

In the end the extortionist may bargain with you if they’re in a good mood, or if you have a great sob story. Last week the group announced the site is now available in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

This usually involves clicking a link or downloading and opening a file that arrives in an email or instant message.

In either case, it is an action that opens the door to the attacker to download and install malware.

Those claims are beyond the scope of this article, but don’t be lulled into thinking these products will always protect you.