Safeguarding Our Customers

Be Alert – Watch Out For Ransomware

Ransomware After being introduced last year and then seemingly disappearing from the cyber scene, the ransomware known as Locky is back. Not only that, but it seems to be "new and improved," meaning more malicious for those who become victims.

Here's how ransomware works: You receive an email with an innocent-sounding subject line, such as "documents," "photos," or "please print." You open the message and the attachment. The file infects your device and encrypts (locks) your data so you're no longer able to access it. The program then sends you a message describing how to install decryption (unlocking) software — but only after you pay a ransom.

It may seem like your only option is to pay the ransom to regain access to your files. That's certainly something to consider, especially if you don't have backups. But, remember there's no guarantee the cyber thieves will grant you access after you pay. The better strategy is to protect yourself against the possibility of such an attack before it happens, using these tips:
  • Back up your data regularly. The easiest way to do this is to subscribe to an automatic cloud backup service.

  • Routinely update your computer. Make sure you always have the most recent versions of your operating system and antivirus software.

  • Practice good email habits. Never open an unexpected attachment, especially from an unknown source.
Cyber crime often takes two parties — the criminal and the victim — to work. Make sure you don't live up to your end of the deal!

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