What is ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts your files. The attackers will ask for a "ransom" or fee before providing a decryption key that allows you to regain access to your files. It is usually not possible to recover this encrypted data in any other way.
How can I get infected with ransomware?
Ransomware is usually installed on a computer from a phishing email, a pop-up, or malicious advertising. A phishing email will have malicious attachments or links to malicious websites. Anti-malware may or may not detect a malicious attachment, so it's important for you to be vigilant.
How can I protect myself against ransomware?
Here are the main ways to protect yourself against ransomware:
- Preparation - back up your information regularly. Once a ransomware attack occurs, it's too late to recover the encrypted information. Your information may be lost permanently. Here is more information on backing up your data.
- Identification. Learn to identify phishing email and malicious pop-ups.
- Don't do day-to-day work using an administrator account. Successful ransomware attacks will have the same permissions that you have when working. If you're not using an account with administrator privileges, the initial attack may be foiled.
What do I do if I think I'm infected with ransomware?
- Report the ransomware attack to the ITS Service Desk immediately.
- Isolate or shut down the infected computer.
- If you're on Wi-Fi, turn off the Wi-Fi.
- Unplug from the network if you have a plugged connection.