Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts your files. The attackers will ask for a ransom or fee before providing a decryption key that allows you to regain access to your files. It is usually not possible to recover this encrypted data in any other way.
How can I get infected with ransomware?
Here are the main ways to protect yourself against ransomware:
Preparation - back up your information regularly. Once a ransomware attack occurs, it's too late to recover the encrypted information. Your information may be lost permanently. Here is more information on backing up your data.
Identification. Learn to identify phishing email and malicious pop-ups.
Don't do day-to-day work using an administrator account. Successful ransomware attacks will have the same permissions that you have when working. If you're not using an account with administrator privileges, the initial attack may be foiled.
What do I do if I think I'm infected with ransomware?