Beware of ransomware. And don’t pay the ransom!


Ransomware is malicious software that can infect and encrypt files on your computers and other devices, preventing you from accessing them. Criminals use it to threaten victims with loss of their data unless they pay ransom in return for a “key” to unlock their folders, files, and devices.

Ransomware typically gets on devices when people open infected email attachments, click shared document links to infected documents, or click links in email that go to malicious websites. You can protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Hover your mouse over links in email to examine them before clicking.
  • If you receive an unexpected email attachment, check with the sender before opening.
  • Make regular backups and keep those backups separate from your devices (in case your device stops working).

If your computer or other device is infected by ransomware, don’t pay the ransom. There are no guarantees when dealing with criminals. If the infected computer or device is owned or managed by the university, or it is used to access or maintain sensitive U-M data, report the problem to Information Assurance immediately. Learn more on Safe Computing.