Can I get ransomware by opening an email?

Ransomware can be delivered in various ways, the majority of which utilize email. Ransomware are real, but computers aren’t infected just by opening emails anymore.

Can I get ransomware by opening an email?

Just opening an email to view it is safe now – although attachments & links in the email can still be dangerous to open. Phishing is one of the most common methods of delivering ransomware. When a user downloads a malicious attachment within a phishing email which contains ransomware, all of the user’s files are encrypted and made inaccessible until ransom is paid. Threatware has been increasingly targeting businesses of all sizes.

While it is not always possible to prevent a successful attack, engaging in general security best practices and implementing effective email protection can drastically reduce your risk. Some tips for preventing a successful ransomware attack include:

  • Think before you click! Make sure you have confirmed the legitimacy of an email before downloading any attachments it contains.
  • Make sure your OS is patched and updated, reducing the chance of vulnerabilities existing that criminals could exploit.
  • Back up your files frequently and automatically. This won’t prevent a ransomware attack, but it can reduce the damage caused by one. Be aware that backups are not foolproof: ransomware may sit idle for weeks until it is triggered, potentially destroying backups.
  • Keep Your Mail Client, Web Browser, and Operating System Updated
  • Invest in a comprehensive, threat-ready email security solution that accurately detects malicious emails - such as ransomware emails or threatware emails - and prevents them from reaching the inbox.

Read more detail on Ransomware - How it works, Types of ransomware & best practices to prevent Ransomware

Other FAQs