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Locked up

‘Ransomware’ holds data hostage

“Ransomware” captures data and holds it hostage.
“Ransomware” captures data and holds it hostage.

Malicious software is often designed to steal or destroy data. A new variation — “ransomware” — captures data and holds it hostage.

Ransomware is a program that encrypts files and computer systems then cuts user access until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware costs victims in the United States as much as $24 million annually.

The CyberSafe at USPS team recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Be wary of pop-up advertisements. Scammers use bogus pop-up ads to entice you to click on malicious links to download ransomware.
  •  Back up your data. To defend against a ransomware attack, back up your data in case it’s necessary to erase a hard drive or files to remove ransomware.
  • Update your mobile device software. Regularly update your mobile device software to ensure your device is protected by the most up-to-date malware security.

The CyberSafe at USPS site on Blue has more tips on how to identify and avoid ransomware and other threats.

Report ransomware threats to the CyberSecurity Operations Center by emailing

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