Ransomware is a major threat to people who keep their computer online, and the easiest way to keep themselves safe is to keep their software updated.  Adobe recently released a security update that deals with the major vulnerabilities in its Flash Player that let hackers gain control over a person’s computer.

The susceptibilities affected the player of computers running Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome operating systems. Trend Micro, which noted the problem, said the threats were spreading the “Locky ransomware” – a kind of malware that held the computer hostage until the victim pays him/her money via the Internet.

Adobe is informing its users to keep current on their Flash Player. In order to find out what version users have installed, they need to right lick on the Flash content within the browser and click on “About Adobe Flash Player”. They can also check the information out by visiting Adobe’s version information page.

According to Adobe, many devices, which have Windows 10 and earlier versions and are using the 20.0.0.306 or earlier Flash Player versions, have been exploited because of this vulnerability. The company didn’t specify how many folks have been affected.

Understanding Ransomware

Crypto-ransomware holds a computer user’s important data hostage and the attacker demands a certain monetary amount in order to give the user access back to that information. The virus threatens to delete files if payment is not made within a specific time period. Symantec, an online security firm, said this kind of ransomware has increased by 35 percent in the last year. It said the virus has hit Windows OS, Linux, Mac and smartphones.

In 2014, ransomware hit the news after more than 5,000 Canadians had been infected, shelling out nearly $1.5 million. The virus got through to computers who had out-of-date software like Adobe Flash Player. This is why people need to ensure their software is always updated to keep this from happening to them.