Ransomware Shield - FAQs

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware refers to malicious software that can encrypt important files on your PC to make them inaccessible and then threaten to publish or delete them until a sum of money (ransom) is paid. Even after paying the ransom, there is no guarantee that you can recover your files.

What is Ransomware Shield?

Ransomware Shield secures your personal photos, documents, and other files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature scans for and automatically secures folders that may contain personal data and allows you to specify which other folders you want to protect from untrusted applications. Additionally, you can specify which applications are allowed to modify the files in your folders and which applications are always blocked.

How do I get Ransomware Shield?

Ransomware Shield is included in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. To access the feature, open the Avast Antivirus and go to ProtectionRansomware Shield.

How do I manage Ransomware Shield activity?

To specify how Ransomware Shield handles attempts to access files in your protected folders:

  1. Open Avast Antivirus.
  2. Go to ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  3. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner to access Ransomware Shield Settings.
  4. Select an option under Select your preferred mode:
    • Smart Mode (default and recommended setting): Ransomware Shield refers to a list of commonly used and trusted applications to determine which programs can modify files in your protected folders. If any applications that are not in this list attempt to modify files in your protected folders, you are notified and asked for permission.
    • Strict Mode: you are notified and asked for permission each time a new application attempts to modify files in your protected folders. Selecting this option may result in frequent and potentially annoying alerts.

To learn more about how to use Ransomware Shield, refer to the following article:

Which files and folders does Ransomware Shield secure?

Ransomware Shield automatically secures folders where you might store personal data. To manually add another folder to the list of protected folders:

  1. Open Avast Antivirus.
  2. Go to ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  3. Click Protect New Folder, then select a folder and click OK.

To remove a folder, hover your cursor over the folder's panel, click the X icon that appears, then click Stop Protecting.

To specify which types of files are protected in each folder, click the gear icon in the top-right corner, then under File types, tick or untick the box next to each file type according to your preferences.

How do I allow or block specific applications from modifying files in my protected folders?

To specify which applications Ransomware Shield allows or blocks:

  1. Open Avast Antivirus.
  2. Go to ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  3. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Click View allowed/blocked apps.

Click + Block App or + Allow App to add an application to either list. To remove an application from either list, hover your cursor over the relevant row, click (three dots), and select Remove.

For more information about the Blocked & Allowed apps screen in Avast Antivirus, refer to the following article:

  • Avast Premium Security 20.x
  • Avast Omni 1.x
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 1, 32 / 64-bit

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