Malware and spam: Ransomware

This article reviews what ransomware is and how to protect yourself.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a class of malicious software that holds your data hostage by blocking access and demanding payment. In some instances, the software may even threaten to leak your data unless you pay.

Did you know?  Even if you do pay (which you should not), the bad actor will still keep your data and may continue to request additional payments.

How can it infect your devices?

Commonly, infections come from successful phishing attempts in which the victim downloads or opens a fraudulent attachment. They can also occur when a victim starts a download from a fraudulent website.

I think I'm compromised!

  1. Stop using your device and power it off immediately
  2. Contact the Help Desk

If you encounter this issue outside of Help Desk hours: do NOT turn on your device. Call the Help Desk when it opens or email from a different device.

How to prevent an infection

Links on legitimate websites can redirect you to a fraudulent website! Always check the URL before downloading.

Have healthy information security habits!

  1. Be wary of fraudulent emails
  2. Only download files from senders and websites you trust
    • Double-check the sender and URL
  3. Run a virus scan every two weeks
  4. Be adept at identifying and avoiding fraudulent emails and websites by completing your Information Security Education program


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor