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We don't know what ransomware is

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Martial Red)

Despite the fact that the media is constantly buzzing with stories of successful ransomware attacks, the general public in the UK is largely unaware of the threat.

Backup experts Acronis (opens in new tab)polled Brits, and in their report it says that 60 per cent of respondents would not be able to explain what ransomware actually is. Sixteen per cent ‘just heard of it’, while seven per cent said they could ‘definitely’ explain what ransomware is. Fifteen per cent ‘probably could’. 

Acronis also says that this lack of awareness is ‘matched by data insecurity’ among respondents. More than two thirds (69.6 per cent) feel ‘worried’ about their personal data online, and 47 per cent said they felt vulnerable from IoT-based cyber-attacks. 

However, almost no one is interested in paying up. Ninety-five per cent of respondents said they’d refuse to pay ransom for their data.

“This combative attitude, however, is not helped by the lack of measures taken to protect personal data in the first place,” said John Zanni, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP Channel and Cloud Strategy at Acronis, which recently released the latest version of its personal data backup and storage solution Acronis True Image 2017 New Generation. “Our research revealed that 59 per cent did not have a plan in place to retrieve photos, files and data if they were hacked. And 31.9 per cent admitted to opening an email or clicking on a link from a sender they didn't know. This is why we decided to have ransomware protection built into our personal and business products.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Martial Red

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.