13 May: Ransomware questions? Learn more

Here’s an FAQ to tell you what you need to know about ransomware.

What’s going on?

Cybercriminals are using something called “ransomware” to essentially hold data on Windows-based computers hostage by encrypting files, making them unusable and demanding “ransom” payment before potentially restoring access. This kind of criminal activity has occurred before, but this most recent occurrence appears to be the most widespread ransomware attack to date. It has spread to more than 100 countries.

How would I know it’s happening to me?

Best Buy - ransomware

28 Jul: Ransomware is on the Rise: Here’s What You Need to Know

You turn on your computer, only to find that you’re locked out of all of your files — everything from work documents to family photos. There’s an ominous message on the screen demanding that you pay a fee to regain access.

That nightmare scenario has become all too real because of ransomware, a type of computer virus that cybercriminals around the world are using to scam money out of unsuspecting individuals and businesses. It’s nasty stuff, and it’s on the rise.