According to news reports, tens of thousands of Windows computers throughout the world have fallen victim to a ransomware worm (a type of computer virus) that encrypts files and documents and then demands a payment for the decryption key.

How the worm spreads is not yet clear but you should be very careful visiting new websites and opening emails.  If your Windows computer is up to date with the latest updates from Microsoft then you are safe from this worm.

To check the update status on your computer, type "Windows update' in the search bar near the Windows Start button and press Enter.  Then click on "Check for Updates" near the upper left corner of the window that pops open.  Install any recommended or "important" updates and follow the instructions about rebooting.  

Once Windows says it is is up-to-date, check that your ESET anti-virus software is up-to-date.  It should appear as a circle in the system tray.  If the circle appears blue-ish gray to greenish, ESET is up-to-date.  If it is reddish, you should right-click on it and tell it to update now. 

If you have questions, please call AskIT at 413 542-2526 or email askit@amherst.edu.