This Fraud Week, the ACCC is warning small business operators to think twice before opening email files that could contain ransomware. The ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams Report shows that almost $1 million was lost to these scams last year.
Ransomware is a type of malware that infects a computer system by restricting access unless a ransom is paid to a scammer for the restriction to be removed.
“The ACCC received over 2,500 ransomware and malware complaints last year with over $970,000 reported lost by small businesses and consumers. Several people reported losing over $10,000 to these scams, which can have a devastating effect on a small business,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
SCAMwatch offers these tips to protect you and your business from ransomware:
- Ensure your computer has a firewall and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Do not click on links or download files in emails you receive out of the blue; especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip files. These files are likely to contain malware.
- Use a pop-up blocker as a lot of ransomware is delivered after following links in pop-up alerts.
- If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of an email supposedly from a legitimate business, do not rely on contact details or links provided or open any attachments – contact the organisation using the number in the telephone directory or on their official website to verify.
- Regularly back-up your computer’s data on a separate hard drive so this can be easily re-installed if your computer is infected by malware or ransomware.
For more information, please read the full media release.
Small Business team
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)