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4-H Tech Changemakers Teach About Ransomware

Have you ever dealt with ransomware before?

  • If you have, you know how devastating it can be to have all your files rendered useless until you pay up.
  • Millions of people deal with ransomware and malware attacks every year.
  • We need to educate people on how to protect themselves from ransomware and malware attacks.

How to Protect Yourself from Malware and Ransomware 

To protect yourself from Malware and Ransomware attacks you should

  1. Backup all your data
  2. Never click on untrustworthy links
  3. Use a proper anti-virus that is known to work
  4. Never download suspicious files
  5. Never give personal information away over the phone (Passwords & Accounts)

Use a Firewall:  What a firewall does is block suspicious cites from ever being visited. A firewall also prevents downloads from suspicious links. When your using a firewall you can worry a lot less about staying safe from malware and ransomware online.

Who Does Malware and Ransomware Affect? 

Everyone can be affected by malware and ransomware; however, some groups are attacked more often. One of the largest groups attacked by hackers is the education sector. Another one of the largest groups is people over the age of 60. Due to the unfamiliarity most people over the age of 60 have with technology it can be easy to digitally defraud them of their money

The education sector is another group that is heavily affected by Ransomware and Malware. This is because the majority of education districts fail to have a proper IT security system. This is also because schools all over the world haven’t taught students how to be safe online in this new digital era.

Ways You Could Be Affected

Think about this, you get a call from someone claiming to be a company that you have a digital account with. They tell you that someone is trying to get into your account and the company can change your password for you they just need to confirm the current password so the password change can happen. Stop! This is a classic social engineering technique to steal people’s passwords and after that your account can be completely taken away from you.

Let’s try another scenario, you are scrolling through web pages, and you get a pop-up that says you have a virus. It gives you a solution though, it links you to an “anti-virus” however what this really happens to be is a program to give you a virus. Therefore, you should never click on any links inside of websites. After you click the link, you could be downloading a program that can destroy all your data.  You wouldn’t want any important documents getting deleted would you.

Let’s try one last scenario, you get an email from someone claiming to be a rich person who wants to give you money. They say all you must do is to click on a link and enter your credit card details and they will send you the money.

STOP! This is another social engineering trick. They will make you think you will get lots of money when, they will just use your credit card to steal your money. You wouldn’t want to lose all your money when you think you are going to gain money, do you?

Ways Malware and Ransomware Spreads

Malware can spread over your local area network (LAN) and on the general internet. If one person in your business infects their computer with a virus, your entire network is at risk. This same thing can happen at your house too. This is why it’s so important to teach people how to prevent and mitigate the effects of ransomware and malware.

What You Can Do to Help

You can teach family members how to stay safe online. You can also teach them about the different types of attacks and how to deal with each one.  You can also tell people to play this game:

This game teaches people effective ways to block and to deal with Malware and Ransomware



“What Is Malware and How to Prevent against It.”, 28 Aug. 2018, Accessed 25 May 2022.

Reddy, G. N., & Reddy, G. J. (2014). A study of cyber security challenges and its emerging trends on latest technologies. arXiv preprint arXiv:1402.1842.