Ransomware is a type of malware that allows cybercriminals to lock a computer from a remote location. A demand for payment is then made in return for unlocking the computer.
In some cases, a pornographic image is used, or there is an accusation of illegal activity, in an attempt to discourage people from seeking help
Top tips for avoiding ransomware
Do not reply to, or click on links contained in, emails from companies or individuals you do not recognise.
Do not open attachments unless you’re sure the email is genuine and from a trusted source.
Do not click on links contained in suspicious messages from social networking sites.
Backup your data regularly.
Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer before you go online.
Always install software and app updates as soon as prompted.
Only visit reputable websites.
Be wary of USB devices (e.g. memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players) because these can be used to infect your device with malware.
Find out more
With any malware, if you have the slightest suspicion you should take action immediately.
- disconnect your device from the University network. For wired connections, like a desktop PC, pull out the network cable; for wireless devices, disable your wireless connection
- power down your computer
- contact the Helpdesk
- Disconnect your device from the internet. For wired connections, like a desktop PC, pull out the network cable. For wireless devices, disable your wireless connection.
- Power down your computer.
- Use another, uninfected computer to download anti-malware software and save it to a DVD or USB. Free versions of anti-malware software are available online.
- Turn on the infected machine, making sure it’s still not connected to the Internet, and run the anti-malware software from the DVD or USB.
- Keep running the anti-malware tool until your device is ‘clean’.
- Reconnect your device to the internet and update the anti-malware.
- Scan the device again.
- Change your device login passwords and any other passwords you suspect may be compromised.
For more information, go to Updates and Anti-virus.
Anti-virus software will be installed on University-owned computers. For more information, contact your local IT support.
The University provides anti-virus software for home use. To download the software, log on to Pegasus and navigate to the 'Available Licenced Software' section on the 'Information Services' tab.