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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 (

Save $65 on Six-Core Dell XPS 8930 Desktop

In the market for a reasonably priced desktop PC that’s built for longevity and customizability? Consider picking up the sleek XPS 8930. For a limited time, Dell is selling it for just £584.99[1].

Simply apply the coupon code “TENOFF” during checkout, and you’ll save 65 bucks off the list price. This configuration features an eighth-generation six-core 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, a DVD burner, Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi support. Dell is also offering a wired keyboard and mouse combo at no additional cost.

That’s particularly convenient if you’re starting from scratch, but you can easily swap in your favorite existing input devices if you’d prefer. And thanks to the inclusion of DisplayPort and a HDMI port, you’ll be able to use just about any modern monitor or HDTV that you’d like. So, what exactly makes this model so versatile?

It’s the sheer number of ports and slots. On the inside, it has space for three 3.5-inch drives, four PCIe slots (with room for a full-size graphics card), and four DIMM slots (with support for up to 64GB of memory). While the included graphics chip won’t be able to handle many modern games, adding in a dedicated video card is a snap.

And since the rest of the specs are already rock solid, you won’t have to invest in much else to turn this into a splendid gaming PC. By default, the XPS 8930 comes with Windows 10[2] Home (64-bit) installed, so you’ll be able to use the Edge web browser, the Xbox app, the Cortana personal assistant, and the Windows Store right out of the box. And with DirectX 12 and game DVR in play, it’s the perfect OS for gaming.

Note: Terms and conditions apply.

See the Dell website for more information.

For more Dell deals and coupons, check out[3].


  1. ^ for just £584.99 (
  2. ^ Windows 10 (
  3. ^ (

TVPlayer Record Function Lets You Save Catfish and Cake Boss in the Cloud

TVPlayer’s recently launched Record function is something of a UK first – it’ll let you save shows from the likes of MTV, TLC, Viceland and others to the cloud, freeing you up to stream them on a number of devices at your convenience. This function is currently only available with certain channels – including Lifetime, TLC, MTV, History, and Eurosport – which are available to TVPlayer subscribers paying GBP5.99/month for the Plus package. The cloud drive is managed through the TVPlayer site and lets you put away up to ten hours of content.

While TVPlayer’s standard, free service lets you stream content from the public service broadcasters – i.e. BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – and other channels like Dave, Really and Yesterday, you won’t be able to record these, but then again, all of these channels are already complemented by on-demand players elsewhere on the web. Read next: Free Family Guy live streams hit TVPlayer thanks to new ITV deal[1]

TVPlayer Record is not a million miles away from how Sky Q works, which lets you stream recordings made on the main set-top box on other devices in the home, but part of TV Player’s appeal lies in in its cross-platform support; you can access TVPlayer on Fire TV and Roku boxes as well as Xbox Ones, Samsung smart TVs and Freesat boxes, we well as iOS and Android devices. And yes, you can download Sky Q recordings to tablets for when you’re not and home, and while that works very well, it’s not really the same as being able to tap into your recordings anywhere where there’s an Internet connection. While Cloud PVRs (personal video recorders) are common in the US, thanks in part to DRM being built in to the Freeview HD spec[2], they’ve not really taken off over here as much.

That said, British expats and travellers have long been able to make use of Sling Media’s Slingboxes[3], which means you can watch recordings of The Great British Bake Off without having to faff around with a VPN[4].

The full list of channels you’ll be able to record with TVPlayer is:

  • Lifetime
  • TLC
  • MTV
  • History
  • Discovery
  • ID
  • Turbo
  • Animal Planet
  • H2
  • Crime Investigation
  • Viceland
  • Eurosport 1
  • Eurosport 2
  • Ginx Sports
  • Colors
  • Rishtey

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  1. ^ Free Family Guy live streams hit TVPlayer thanks to new ITV deal (
  2. ^ thanks in part to DRM being built in to the Freeview HD spec (
  3. ^ Sling Media’s Slingboxes (
  4. ^ faff around with a VPN (

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