Scan for malware/spyware weekly using a trusted anti-malware program. If you use the Internet frequently and notice a decline in overall computer performance, you should also scan for malware.


Purchase a reliable anti-virus software program, such as Norton Antivirus or McAfee Total Protection. Some Internet service providers now include a complimentary anti-virus program. Schedule a weekly scan at a time when you computer has minimal activity. Install security protection on your smartphone or tablet as well.

Backup Files

Backup all critical data once a month to an external storage device, such as an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or cloud-based backup service. Some free cloud file storage services include: Dropbox and Google Drive. Other reliable and affordable online cloud backup solutions are Carbonite and IDrive.

Hardware Protection

Purchase a surge protector (not a power strip) designed for computer peripherals and electronic devices.  Keep computer peripherals or laptops away from food, liquids, and other harmful substances.

How to Prevent Ransomware

  • Backup your files to an external storage device regularly
  • Only click attachments and links from legitimate email senders
  • Run current anti-virus software on your computer
  • Install vendor security updates regularly; such as, Microsoft or Adobe system updates