Individuals have become targets to a growing online fraud scheme known as ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware used by cyber criminals to freeze your computer or mobile device, steal your data and demand a "ransom" be paid — typically anywhere from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars. To help combat these malicious threats, we offer you these tips:
Visiting unsafe, suspicious or fake websites can lead to the intrusion of malware. Be cautious when opening e-mails or attachments you don't recognize even if the message comes from someone in your contact list.
Always back up your files.
By maintaining offline copies of your personal information, ransomware scams will have a limited impact on you. If targeted, you will be less inclined to take heed to threats posed by cyber criminals.
Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.
Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
Enable popup blockers.
To prevent popups, turn on popup blockers to avert unwanted ads, popups or browser malware from constantly appearing on your computer screen.
If you fall victim to a ransomware event, contact your local FBI field office immediately to report and request assistance. To locate the office nearest you, visit fbi.gov/contact-us/field.