Ransomware such as TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker not only sound terrifying - but they are a particularly nasty bit of malware that can infect your device in order to get money out of you. Worse still is that this type of malware is on the rise.

Know your enemy

Ransomware has two main functions:

1. Locks up or encrypts part or all of a user's device

2. Demands something (usually money) to restore the device to working condition

It can get onto your machine in several ways, including:

1. Accidental/unknown downloads

2. Infected or removable drives

3. Program vulnerabilities (i.e. weaknesses caused by other forms of malware affecting the machine)

4. Infected software bundles

AVAST security software reported that over six weeks their users encountered ransomware-infected websites 18 million times.

What to do if you're infected with ransomware

1. Remember: never pay the ransom! 

2. Avoid plugging in any removable drives, since these can also become infected

3. Disconnect any other devices

4. Use antivirus and antimalware software to remove the ransomware

Read the infographic below for more information, including how to keep yourself safe from the risk of ransomware.