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  • Writer's pictureStan Patey

Ransomware Primer

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Learn to identify and avert data hostage situations

Ransomware Infected Laptop with ransom payment

Ransomware is malware constructed by cyber-criminals to encrypt your network data and hold it hostage until you pay their ransom.

Slow Down! Use the checklist below to review messages before opening any links carefully.


Safety checklist

  • Do I know the sender?

  • Was this an expected or a typical correspondence?

  • Why was this email sent to me?

  • Can the link be verified as safe?

  • Is the email threatening and pressuring you to act immediately to avoid loss of account access or cancellation of mail services or other important accounts if you fail to update your personal information?

  • When you hover your cursor over a link does the embedded URL match the advertised destination?

  • If you delete this message because it seems odd, what’s the worst that can happen?

  • Remember, if in doubt, throw it out. If it were legitimate, the sender would certainly contact you again. You won't be criticized for being cautious when it comes to network security.



  • Patch every device to maintain current antivirus and software updates.

  • Back up critical files often and off-site. Onsite backups residing on your network are vulnerable.

  • Close pop-up windows asking you to update account information or install applications you didn't request.

  • Bookmark your favorite web pages to avoid visiting a fake site due to a misspelling such as

  • Use trusted sites and avoid scams like "you're a winner!" banners – nothing is free!

  • Be wary of email attachments, like bogus shipping receipts or requests to download an important file from an associate.

  • Heed warnings from your AV and report all suspicious activity to your Slingshot support team.


Infected computers must be shut down immediately and disconnected from the network then call your Slingshot Support Team directly.


Slingshot Information Systems is your North Shore Technical Support Expert. If you have concerns about network security, we can help.

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