It’s a Monday as usual. You sit in front of your desktop, sipping at your coffee, and prepare to start the new week’s work. Open your Outlook, you notice an email from an unknown sender in the inbox, which reads:

“Another spam email again.” Having informed yourself of baits used in phishing emails, you choose to ignore it. Next minute, however, you find all your emails turned into strange symbols. Unrest spreads in the office for other computers are also hit.

What will you do then? After a heated discussion, you and your colleagues decide to turn to a data recovery company, which claims to unlock your data with cutting-edge technology. A substantial “data recovery fee” finally enables you to regain email data. You feel complacent about the sensible decision, until one day you see the headline:

What do data recovery companies actually do?

A bit ridiculous. But it is true. ProPublica recently reported that a handful of data recovery firms (such as a company called Dr. Shifrop shown in the below picture) paid ransoms to gain decryption tools from hackers, while professing to clients that they used the “latest technology”. They actually acted as intermediaries between cyber attackers and victims.

Though those firms’ dishonest solution—paying hackers—helps save your emails for the time being, it “encourages continued criminal activity, leads to other victimizations, and can be used to facilitate serious crimes,” an FBI spokesperson states.

How to deal with ransom emails?

According to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred daily, or about 1.5 million per year since 2016.

To PAY OR NOT TO PAY, that is a question. Refusing ransoms, you may lose all the information in your emails. Nevertheless, paying ransoms means you are probably fueling hackers and financing other sorts of crime.

What is the solution for this dilemma? In fact, the most effective way of denying ransoms is to build your own strong defenses for your emails. Mr. Guard, an email vault for data backup and recovery, is a good fit for this job. It ensures every single one of your email remains as they were – when your mailbox is unfortunately under attack and scrambled. Now you can say NO to ransom demands with no fear.

Try Mr. Guard, applicable for Outlook, website browser and your mobile phone, available now on Microsoft AppSource.