RCMP warn of ransomware scams making the rounds in Valley

RCMP cyber-safety reminder

Kelowna RCMP are sounding the alarm about ransomware scams in the Okanagan.

RCMP tell Castanet that in recent months, several local businesses have experienced cyber-attacks and been hit by ransomware. No size business seems immune according to RCMP, "small mom and pop businesses can fall victim to ransomware as well."

Ransomware is a type of malware that attacks a device or network by injecting an encryption code which causes your data to be unreadable or unusable. The attacker then sends an email offering to unlock the information in exchange for a ransom in bitcoins.

The problem is, even if you pay, you may not get the key to decrypt the information. 

RCMP advise that these are some of the steps you can take to protect yourself and your information:

  • Do not answer suspicious emails and do not click on any links in them
  • Be cautious of any unsolicited email
  • Ensure a backup plan for your data that is consistent and frequent
  • Have anti-malware software
  • Ensure regular software and system updates/patches as well as frequent system-wide password changes
  • Publish and enforce an employee security policy

If you or your business has been a victim of ransomware or another scam take these following steps:

  • Contact your financial institutes
  • Contact your local police
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 or through the Fraud Reporting System.
  • Call Equifax Canada (1-800-465-7166)
  • Call TransUnion Canada (1-877-525-3823)

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