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Money for Nothing?

You paid them -- the $1,500 had been gone from your account for a while.

Still no word from the hackers. 

You wait to see what will happen. And wait. Every passing hour is torture, and your thoughts race between hope and regret.

Days go by without any news about your files. Anxiety morphs into anger and despair. You realize the reality of your situation: these faceless adversaries threatened you and took your money. They aren't even going to contact you again. 

So much for hacker customer service!

The hackers didn't release your files publicly, as far as you can tell. Guess it was a bluff.


Your bank account is lighter and your trust is shattered. Although they didn't release your files to the public, the violation you feel is immense.


Days turn into weeks and you move forward. You invest in high-end antivirus software, set up regular data backups, and attend online safety seminars. The scars of the ransomware attack remain, a constant reminder of the fragility of our digital lives.


But there's a silver lining. Your ordeal has made you more resilient, vigilant, and appreciative of the moments that can't be captured in bytes and pixels. While you may have lost parts of your digital past, your real-life future stretches out ahead, filled with endless possibilities.



You may not have found the ideal scenario, but you learned some valuable lessons about keeping yourself safe online. Every situation is different, but these basics will help you. To explore different paths and see how other decisions unfold, play again.

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