Ransomware works by encrypting the local storage on your device to make it inaccessible. Chromebooks store most of their data on the cloud, and are hence relatively safe from encryption attacks. The local Downloads folder could, in theory, be vulnerable to encryption. It is hence recommended to have a back-up of your Downloads folder, or better still, store all your Downloads on the cloud directly.
However, Google Drive files are also stored locally on your Chromebook, and are synced to the cloud regularly. Hence, ransomware could encrypt the locally stored Google Drive files, which would then automatically sync to the cloud, extending the ransomware’s reach to your cloud storage.
There is no reason to worry about this, though. Google Docs content (including Docs, Sheets, Presentations and Forms) will not be harmed. Those files only store links to the files locally, and the content is safe on the cloud. If ransomware encrypts your links, the links will be broken but the files will be safe. As for other files, Google Drive allows you to access previous versions of any file you upload. Hence, if ransomware encrypts certain files, you can always access previous, unencrypted files through this service. In case you ever find yourself in this situation here’s how to access previous versions of files on Google Drive.
Original Article Appeared 12/3/2017