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Online safety

The Internet and technology have penetrated nearly every aspect of our daily lives. This has created many positive conveniences, but also provides criminals with opportunities to reach new victims.

It is important to protect yourself and your devices from criminals who wish to exploit them. However, technology is constantly evolving and criminals are always finding new ways to manipulate it, so you must always remain vigilant and adopt new safety measures on a regular basis.

Here are some tips on how to stay safe. There are also many other valuable resources offering online safety advice, and we encourage you to use all available information to protect yourself and your activities.

Ransomware is a type of malware which blocks a computer or mobile device, or encrypts the data on a system, demanding money for restoration of the functionality.

In some cases, the name or logo of INTERPOL or a law enforcement agency will appear to trick the user into believing the police are involved.

In reality, INTERPOL never blocks computer systems, never threatens individual users and never demands money.

If you believe you are the victim of ransomware, cease all contact with the individual making the demand and contact your local or national law enforcement authorities.

Prevention tips

  • Back up everything– It’s best to create two back-up copies: one stored in the cloud and one stored physically (portable hard drive, thumb drive, etc.). Disconnect these from your computer – if your back-up device remains connected, ransomware can infect it as well;
  • Use robust antivirus software– Do not switch off the ‘heuristic functions’ as these help to catch new or altered samples of ransomware;
  • Keep all the software on your computer up to date –When  your operating system (OS) or applications release a new version, install it. If the software offers automatic updating, use it;
  • Trust no one– Any account can be compromised and malicious links can be sent from the accounts of people you know. Never open attachments in e-mails from someone you don’t know. Be wary of unsolicited e-mails from seemingly safe sources such as online stores, banks, the police or tax collection agencies;
  • Enable the ‘Show file extensions’ optionin the Windows settings on your computer. Stay away from file extensions like ‘.exe’, ‘.vbs’ and ‘.scr’;
  • If you discover a rogue or unknown process on your machine,disconnect it immediatelyfrom the Internet or other network connections (such as Wi-Fi) to prevent the infection from spreading.

Additional WannaCry advice

  • Disable smb v1, and install the Microsoft security patches to prevents Wannacry from spreading within your network.

No More Ransom

There are ways to protect yourself against ransomware, and to protect your data in case you become a victim. In addition, tools are available which can help infected users regain access to their systems.

INTERPOL supports the No More Ransom project which serves as a global resource on ransomware information and provides free access to tools which can decrypt data locked by many different types of ransomware.

Learn more about No More Ransom