3 ways to protect yourself from ransomware

Recent cyberattacks, like the one that shut down a major U.S. pipeline in May, demonstrate the threat of ransomware to large organizations. But the impact of ransomware can also be much more personal in nature, such as losing years of family photos. 

Here are 3 ways you can protect yourself — and Rowan University — from ransomware. 

  1. ​Apply software updates and regularly restart your computer. It’s important to keep your computer — whether it’s personal or Rowan-owned — up to date and restart it at least once a week. Taking these steps will install critical updates, optimize performance and reduce the risk of infection from ransomware. 
  2. Back up your data. You should be regularly backing up your data to a service like Google Drive or your Home directory, which will give you a better chance to restore your data even if a criminal gains access to your computer. If you are using a USB flash drive — which can serve as a host for ransomware — to back up your data, stop. 
  3. Take your security training. Our security awareness training covers the basics of identifying potential security threats like ransomware. You’ll receive a reminder to take your security awareness training every year. Make sure you take your training so you know how to avoid potential traps that could lead to lost data.  

For more ways you can protect yourself, review our online security checklist​. Also, as always, if you suspect your data has been compromised, please contact the Technology Support Center at 856-256-4400 immediately. 

Information Resources & Technology is leading multiple projects to harden Rowan University’s defenses against ransomware, and we will be releasing more details about these projects in the coming months. As we fortify our back-end protective measures, we need you to be our first line of defense against ransomware by taking the steps outlined above. 

If you have additional questions, please contact the Technology Support Center at 856-256-4400, or submit a ticket in the Rowan Support Portal.