15% of PC Experts Don’t Know What Ransomware Is

In a recent survey conducted by PC Matic, participants were asked to self-identify their computer skills.  Below is a break down of the participants:

PC Experts Aren’t Aware of #1 Cyber Threat

Out of the 19% of self-identified PC experts, 15% of them reported not being aware of what ransomware is.  Could it be possible to be a computer expert but not be aware of the primary cyber security threat that is facing our world?

Ransomware has taken our world by storm in 2016.  Last year alone, cyber criminals obtained a reported $1 billion dollars in ransom payments.  Ransomware attacks also increased 167% in 2016.  Yet experts are still unaware of this threat?  Are they living under rocks?

Ransomware is consistently in the news.  Whether it is attacks on major hospitals or educational institutions, they cyber threat highly publicized.  You don’t need to do extensive searches to learn about this threat, it’s honestly everywhere from The Nightly News to primetime television shows.

The question now is, what needs to be done to increase ransomware awareness?  We encourage you to comment below with suggestions.  I would also challenge you to reach out to someone you consider a computer expert — family member, friend, co-worker etc., and ask them if they are aware of what ransomware is.  You may find yourself surprised!

(Visited 1,137 times, 1 visits today)

11 thoughts on “15% of PC Experts Don’t Know What Ransomware Is

  1. I have a ransomware hit thru e-mail I opened from USPS—-.
    Ransomware name OSIRIS file.Had ID numbers. wiped out files slowly now boot up blocked.

    I e-mail PitStop and Enigma maleware installed in my computer for tech help.all I got from both was a run around no results.
    Had to get rid of a two year old computer.

    I opened from USPS

    • @John Mc Andrew: Why did you get rid of a 2 year old computer? You could have re-installed the OS or swapped the hard drive out for a new or non infected used one. The only real loss is the loss of your files, apps and data. Your machine is not ruined, it just needs a new operating system. The only reason anyone pays the ransomware idiots is generally because they have lost their data, which in a large environment type of network would cost too much to replace or they cannot take the time to push out their backed up files due to the time constraints imposed by the needs of hospitals, large corporate systems and even government systems, where for them to be down a few days would cost them 10 times what the ransomware thieves are charging.

    • John,
      I apologize for not responding sooner. I was in contact with our support team regarding your particular issue. Our team will be getting in contact with you soon, if they haven’t done so already, to explain what occurred. I appreciate your patience with this.

  2. My take on this survey is that a large number of these so-called “experts” self-identify as expert when they’re really intermediate-level users. I can’t accept that such a high percentage of advanced users would NOT know what ransomware is.

    In other words, if I asked someone who claimed to be an expert what ransomware was and that person didn’t know the answer, then in my mind, that person would NOT be an expert.

    As for your question “what needs to be done to increase ransomware awareness?” … just keep writing and talking about it. That is the only way to deal with it … other than a user’s PC becoming infected and learning about ransomware the hard way. 🙁

    • @Greg Rajewski: Exactly Greg.

      This survey is more interesting when viewed as a psychological experiment into what level of professional expertise people view themselves as having. In every walk of life there are huge swathes of people who consider themselves amazing at X activity, to me that’s all that this is pointing out. Not saying it’s worthless, it’s interesting, just perhaps not for the reasons that PCPitStop / TechTalk are highlighting.

      What would have made this article even better (but perhaps would be more difficult to frame it in the way that PCPitStop want) is to reveal the percentage of self-identified beginner and intermediate users who knew what ransomware was and how that compared pound for pound to the experts, might have been some surprises there. Anyway, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, carry on.

  3. I have got ransomware a few times. While the page was still open.I opened task manager with alt-control-delete, highlight internet explorer and end task. Use ccleaner to clean the caches and the ransomware is gone. I don’t know if this will work for everyone but it works for me. I am talking about when the pop-up says don,t turn off the computer, call the number on the page. they want money to release it.

    • @john: Most of the cases I have dealt with for my customers it was in a e-mail or it was ushered in by what they thought was a clean download. Those pop-ups are indeed dangerous but i have not heard of anyone getting them that way. it was usually incorporated into something they do quite a bit, gaming, e-mail or looking for “free software/mp3s/movies”. Thats what got them. Also they generally target big groups/business who are probably going to pay their ask. Sure there are idiots out there who do this stuff for the fun of it,but due to the money these guys extort, they really arent looking at home users…..there aint no money in it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *