The latest malware (malevolent software) is called Petya or Petrwrap. It appears to be a more vicious version of the earlier WannaCry problem that caused so much damage to Windows systems. Petya is expected to be worse.
Both are versions of “ransomware,” products that lock up your files and block you from accessing your own information until you pay a ransom. The thieves then promise to unlock the files and restore your access once you pay the ransom. Unfortunately, experience has shown the thieves often simply take the money and then disappear. The files typically never get unlocked.
Fortunately, there are several methods to restore your files without paying a ransom if, and only if, you are properly prepared in advance of the problem.
Having an extra copy of all your entire files is always a good idea, no matter the reason, and cloud storage can do the job safely. Having two or three or even more backup copies, stored in different locations, is even better. The backup copies need to be stored in such a manner that they are not touched by ransomware. If the files in your computer get “locked up” by ransomware, you can then restore the backup copies from one of your unaffected backups.
There are numerous ways of making backup copies of files in such a manner that they will not be affected by ransomware locks. One company in the business of making off-site backups to the cloud is pCloud. The company has published a short tutorial showing how to properly avoid the ransomware problems by using pCloud’s service.
Of course, since the article is published by pCloud, it is somewhat self-serving. The article clearly promotes pCloud’s services. However, the same methods can also be used on some other services as well.
Pay close attention to the description of pCloud Rewind that restores OLDER versions of your files, versions that were saved before the ransomware attack hit your computer.
Most computer experts offer one bit of advice: if your files become locked up by ransomware, don’t pay! There are other, more reliable methods for the prepared computer owner to solve the problem.
Comment: I use pCloud as one of my backup solutions and can report that it has worked well for me in the few months I have used it. However, I do not depend upon pCloud or any other single solution to protect my information. My computer makes MULTIPLE backup copies to MULTIPLE online services in the cloud all the time as well as to an external hard drive that sits beside the computer. If any one backup copy is unable to solve the problem for any reason, I have alternatives. You need to create a backup methodology that works for you.