Ransomware Risk Increases as Virtual Learning Expands


Schools have gone virtual, and many students worldwide are learning from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While remote learning offers benefits and reduces the spread of the coronavirus, cyberattacks pose a greater threat as schools rely more on internet technology. Ransomware can be especially disruptive.

Cybercriminals are aware that many students and educators are still adjusting to remote and hybrid learning, and may target educational institutions with greater frequency in the coming school year. It is vital that everyone understand how to stay safe while learning online.

How can I protect myself from cybercriminals and ransomware while learning remotely?

  • Know how to recognize a phishing message. As a rule, any messages that are impersonal, urgent, and unexpected can be safely ignored. Never click on links or download attachments from unsolicited emails.
  • Update your software and operating systems frequently. Outdated software is the target of most attacks.
  • Frequently backup your important data. Saving critical files in three physically separate locations is the gold standard for backups.
  • Be wary of tech support scams. If you get a pop-up message on your machine asking you to call a number for tech help, or if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with tech support, hang up and call Fordham IT Customer Care at 718-817-3999.
  • Visit and read the IT Security Blog! We post security awareness guides and alerts on cyberthreats to the Fordham community.


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