Cybersecurity Awareness: Ransomware

Published: October 26, 2018

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). To help raise awareness and educate members of the college community on the importance of cybersecurity, IT will be offering tips and information. This week’s topic is ransomware.

Q: What is ransomware? 

A: It’s easy to forget sometimes how valuable the information we store on our computers and devices really is to us. Family photos, financial information, address books, homework assignments – so much of our lives is stored digitally! Ransomware is a type of malware in which the attacker encrypts the victim’s data to make it as inaccessible as possible. Then, the hacker demands a ransom to release or unencrypt that information.

Q: Why should you care?

A: The fees extorted by cybercriminals through ransomware can be extreme or prohibitive – not to mention there’s no guarantee that your data will actually be returned to you after you pay! Luckily, there’s a simple way to make yourself and your data resistant to ransomware attacks. In addition to keeping your software and antivirus programs up-to-date, regularly back up your system on the cloud or on an external hard drive. That way, you always have a spare copy of the information most important to you. 

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018 Toolkit

Contact Mike Wilson at or 208.562.3193 with questions or for more information, and stay tuned for more tips in future issues of Bert’s Alerts.

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