The Albany Mayor’s Office is investigating how much information was compromised in a cyberattack.

While there are no updates yet from the Mayor’s Office, News 10 ABC spoke to a local cyber security expert who says ransomware is essentially a computer virus that criminals use to take your files, and then demand money in return for them.

“A criminal can essentially, scan the internet looking for vulnerabilities. when they identify those vulnerabilities, they are able to exploit those vulnerabilities and launch something like ransomware.  It’s actually very common, we see it and respond to incidents every week,” said Michael Stamas, Co-Founder of Greycastle Security.

Stamas says to help protect your files, you should back up your computer on a regular basis, update your computer, and don’t open emails from people that you do not know.

If you do get ransomware on your computer you should not pay the criminal.