Data privacy: preventing ransomware attacks

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Recent ransomware attacks at both the Albany Airport last Dec. and the Town of Colonie in January show that the Capital District is not immune from this type of attack. It’s not just government agencies and local municipalities, Any computer can be the victim of ransomware.

In Oct. 2019 the NYS Comptroller’s Office released a guide for local governments on how to prevent and/or safeguard from ransomware. While local governments have much more complicated security systems, some of the Comptroller’s Office guidelines can also be utilized by the public.

  • Keep anti-virus protection up-to-date.
  • Take a cybersecurity course or find online education resources.
  • Backup sensitive data.
  • Take care of software updates/patches quickly.
  • Before paying a ransom, consult a computer expert.

The NY Attorney General’s Office offers additional steps individuals can take against ransomware.

  • Be mindful of what’s downloaded.
  • Check security settings and make sure your computer is set at least to medium.
  • Do not accept sudden prompts or messages.
  • Clean computers using anti-spyware software.
  • Install a firewall.
  • Make sure all family members know and understand the risks of malware, especially children.
  • Use a non-Microsoft browser like Firefox or Google Chrome.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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