cloud computingBitdefender, an antivirus software company, revealed in a white paper that ransomware caused $350 million in damage in 2015. The whitepaper also explained that 4.1 percent of U.S. Internet users have been targeted by extortion-based malware.

Of the targeted U.S. population, more than 50 percent paid hackers to release the extorted data. Of the interviewed subjects, 30 percent said they would pay to retrieve personal documents, 25 percent would pay for personal photos and 18 percent would pay for job-related materials to be released.

Americans are the fastest growing target for ransomware distribution. More than 60 percent of malware-containing emails distributed in 2015 also had some form of ransomware attached. Even though U.S. citizens are becoming the number one target for ransomware, all Internet users should stay wary when opening attachments and entering unsecure networks on locksmiths services.

To read the full report, visit here.