Following the recent large international attack, authorities have seen an increase in calls from residents and businesses who's computers have been infected by ransomware.

The Montrose Police Department says computer users are reporting being unable to access their computer's operating system and data. A message tells them they need to pay money (ransom) before they can access and use their computer again.

While nothing guarantees it won't be infected, based on reports they've received, the Montrose Police Department offers these tips to reduce the chance of ransomware from taking over your computer.

  • Don't click on links in the email. Be wary of opening attachments as those attachments may contain a virus.
  • Only visit sites you are familiar with or have confidence are safe.
  • Avoid clicking on unknown links on websites, social media or apps.
  • If you get an email or message from a friend with a link or attachment, contact them to make sure they actually sent it.
  • At a minimum, keep backups of your most important files. If you can, a complete backup is a good idea
  • Be aware of fraudulent emails that look legitimate. One known example is a fraudulent email from PayePal, not the legitimate site, PayPal. Best bet, go to the legitimate site directly and ignore links in the body of the email or another message.
  • Make sure your computer has the latest updates. Operating system and virus protection updates are critical. It's also recommended you keep other programs updated, too.