Product Promotion Network


Less than half of ransomware victims get their files back

There is little honour among thieves, as the latest data on cyber security reaffirms that paying a cybercriminal to fix your PC is only effective half the time. Ransomware crippled the NHS and hundreds of other organisations worldwide last year, locking users out of computers, encrypting files and causing untold misery to thousands. This type malware offers users hope of a way out, promising their files will be unharmed if money is paid in a timely fashion.

But can you really trust a crook to honour their word? The short answer is ‘no’. The latest data from CyberEdge[1], which surveyed 1,176 businesses worldwide that had fallen victim to ransomware in 2017, finds that half of businesses that paid for their lost data to be unlocked did not regain access to their files, losing them permanently.

The other half paid the ransom and were able to unlock their files again. CyberEye data What’s more, CyberEye’s survey points towards more cyber-savvy businesses ignoring ransomware altogether and recovering their data through other means.

More than half of businesses that fell victim to ransomware chose not to pay any money at all and recovered their data, while 8% refused to pay and ended up losing data. But you don’t need to be an IT expert to keep yourself. See below for Which? guidance on dealing with ransomware and taking precautions that should keep your data safe.

Our top-rated antivirus packages[2] are put through a gauntlet of cyber attacks that only the very best can survive.

How to prepare for ransomware

Almost all data loss can be completely avoided by running continuous backup software that keeps all your files synchronised with an online service. Take a look at our Best Buy backup service[3] reviews to find out which one is best for your needs. Similarly, keeping an offline backup is as simple as connecting a USB hard drive to your PC on a regular basis and copying files over.

No complicated programs, no paid-for software: simply copying your files frequently means you’re unlikely to need to pay the fee for unlocking your computer.

How to deal with ransomware

Our advice is to never pay the fee. Not only will your money end up in the hands of criminals, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back, as the data above shows. Plus, you may just be exposing your bank details to the attackers.

The first step you should take is to disconnect your computer from the internet and use a friend or family member’s PC to download a recovery tool, and put that on a USB drive. Our guide to ransomware removal[4] takes you through the rest of the steps for getting your data back. Sign up for Which?

Tech Support[5] for our one-on-one helpline and email service.


  1. ^ CyberEdge (
  2. ^ top-rated antivirus packages (
  3. ^ Best Buy backup service (
  4. ^ guide to ransomware removal (
  5. ^ Which?

    Tech Support (

NatWest/RBS bosses reveal the tactics the bank uses to protect you from scams

The chief executive of RBS has urged customers to be far more cautious when it comes to sharing their financial details, stating that the public needs much better education on scams and fraud, an exclusive interview with Which? reveals. In the second-part of our interview with RBS chief executive Ross McEwan and chief executive of peronsal and business banking Les Matheson, we ask the men who run the bank about how they tackle fraud and protect their customers, and why the bank does not compete on the top savings rates – all questions submitted by genuine NatWest customers. You can watch the first part of our interview, published earlier this week here.

If any media is not playing, read this story on[1][2]

NatWest chiefs on… scams and fraud

The amount of money being lost to banking scams and fraud is mind-boggling. Recently, we reported that losses from contactless card fraud had near doubled to GBP5.6m[3]; the amount lost to bank transfer fraud stands at GBP200m.

Banks have a keen interest in preventing fraud – they are on the hook to repay victims if they haven’t been negligent with their details. But scams can’t often happen without a bank being involved – after all the proceeds of a scam have to be sent somewhere. Which? argues that banks must do more to protect their customers from scams[4], be it being more proactive in monitoring suspicious payments, using better technology to protect customers to actually having some form of liability to refund those who’ve been scammed.

We put this to Ross McEwan and Les Matheson, who reveal some of the ways the bank is working to protect its customers from fraud.

NatWest chiefs on… savings rates

We all know what impact the ultra-low interest rates have had on the savings market. Savers have suffered as returns on cash products have dwindled. The biggest high street banks haven’t necessarily helped.

Few, if any, ever sit at the top of the best buy tables and when the Bank of England base rate finally increased last year, NatWest was one of the handful of big banks[5] that failed to pass on the full rate rise. So, what is NatWest’s approach to setting savings rates? Why won’t it pay the top rates to its customers?

Hear what the chief executives of the bank had to say.


  1. ^ published earlier this week here (
  2. ^ read this story on (
  3. ^ losses from contactless card fraud had near doubled to GBP5.6m (
  4. ^ banks must do more to protect their customers from scams (
  5. ^ NatWest was one of the handful of big banks (

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