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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Do Not Be Ransomeware's Next Victim

MIAMISBURG -- It didn't take much.

"I clicked on a link and all of a sudden it took a picture," said computer user Brandi Schneider.
 
"Viruses are out there within every webpage that you go to potentially go to," said Best Buy District Geek Squad Commander Dean Russell.

"They clicked on it thinking it was the exit box but it was actually part of the image and it downloaded an application," said technician Josh Manuel.

Just like that, Schneider downloaded ransomware to her computer.

"So it used the WebCam and it took a picture and it brought up a screen that took over the entire computer so you couldn't do anything on it you couldn't get around it," said Schneider.

In many cases the virus will accuse you of committing a  serious crime.

"It said you're wanted for a lot of different things one being child pornography," Schneider said.

"They are meant to scare you. That's also why they used FBI, Interpool, Homeland Security as their name," said Manuel. "They want you to take them seriously and pay them money."

"That's why it's called a ransom virus," said Russell. "They hold your data for ransom."

And the price tag can be high, but Schneider made the right decision.

"No I'm not going to pay $300," she said. "I haven't done anything wrong."

Even if she had, there's no guarantee, the rip off artist on the other side of the screen wouldn't have turned around and asked for more money. Thankfully she was still able to log in under a previously set up guest account and download several antiviruses that removed the ransomware, but it's not always that easy.

"Some viruses are worse than others," said Manuel.

The Miamisburg Best Buy says they've been seeing about five people everyday come in with a version of ransomware and unfortunately even with most updated virus protection they say you're not 100% secure.

"99% of the computers we check in have at least five infections some of them hundreds," said Manuel.

Wherever  in the world these thieves  are living, they are not being caught because new viruses are written to the tune of thousands per day.

"The evolution of the virus has gone from being a nuisance and slowing and crashing your computer to being something I can use to actually gain access to your personal financial statements or to find out about your life and steal your identity," said Russell.

For Schneider, she knows there's not much more she can do to protect from viruses, but she at least can protect her privacy.

"Now we put tape on top of my WebCam because it's kind of creepy that they can use your WebCam take a picture of you and see you on the screen," she said.

So who is more susceptible: Mac vs PC. Right now more viruses are written for PC's but that's just because they own more than 70% of the market share.

Click here to read more about ransomware or see what the best antiviruses are.


Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.

 
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