Alerts Newsletter Phishing

Avoiding Exposure to Ransomware

adapted from original post by Trisha Clay, EDUCAUSE

Ransomware is scary. Such an attack could make it impossible for you to retrieve documents on your computer. So, how do you protect yourself from ransomware? One of the best ways to protect yourself is to create a good backup of your critical data. These backups should be available offline, for example, on a removable hard drive or tape. Having multiple backups that are stored in more than one location is best! For your work files, be sure to follow guidelines from your IT department. Ransomware is often delivered via a fraudulent email with an attachment or link that, when clicked, installs a program that locks your files. Never open an attachment that you are not expecting without verifying with the source in another way (for example, via phone or text message) that the attachment is valid. When you are unsure, follow guidance from your IT department regarding how to handle questionable emails. Using these common-sense practices can help you avoid the pain of a successful ransomware attack.

If you are interested in learning more about available options for storing your information, please visit the File Shares and Storage page on the WashU IT website. For guidance about using WUSTLBox, please visit our Box training page.

If you have additional questions or concerns, or if you think you are being targeted by a ransomware attack, please reach out to us at the Office of Information Security at We are here to help during this difficult time. We appreciate all that you do to keep our university secure.