Are Encrypted Files Dangerous?

Hello Computer Lady.

You are such a help to both newbies and experienced.

My question is actually for my wife. She, unfortunately, encountered a ransomware bug a couple years ago. It encrypted her photos and documents. She didn’t pay the ransom.
Since then she has used the same computer but is lax about backing the drive up. Some of the docs and pics are still encrypted and we wonder if backing it up would be a problem, ie with the ransomware possibly still on her system?

We hate to delete the encrypted photos etc as we are hoping on hope that a fix might be found. Those photos are old old family pics that cannot be replaced easily. Any ideas how to approach the backup problem?

Thanks, Don

Dear Don,

This is an excellent question!

First, the encrypted files themselves are not a danger to your computer, and you can continue to back them up without worry. And, there might be a chance you can restore those old photos in time. I know that Emsisoft at has figured out how to recover some of the encrypted files. You can check it out on their website.

Second, I just want to caution you to make sure that you have completely removed the ransomware from the computer so that new files won’t be encrypted. Also, you want to make sure you have a good security software on the computer to prevent future infections. Again, Emsisoft at will do an excellent job of protecting your computer.

I hope this helps, Elizabeth


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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