Summer 2022

Northwest Farm Credit: Rural, Real Estate, Operating Loans; Farm Loans; Country Home Loans; Lot Loans; Equipment Financing; Young and Beginning Producers; Crop Insurance; Business Management Education; Property Appraisals

Issue link: https://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1471948

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Page 11 of 19

security awareness Beware of ransomware! Security is more important than ever. We all want to use the internet, email and online banking securely. Protecting ourselves against cyberthreats enables us to safeguard our families and our data and to reliably deliver our products on time through secure supply chains. Why should I care about ransomware? Ransomware is a very real and current threat. It can happen to anyone. It can happen to you. Agricultural producers and related businesses in the Northwest have experienced ransomware attacks. Recent attacks have impacted tree fruit producers and marketing desks in this region. What is it? Ransomware is a type of malicious software which encrypts the files of the victim's work or personal computer. Once the malware launches, the computer's owner is locked out of their own files and applications. The attacker demands a payment, promising to restore access when the ransom is paid. If you don't already have a clean, full back up, you will be forced to pay to get your data back. Where does it come from? A ransomware attack often starts with a phishing email. The recipient of the email is tricked into opening an attachment which infects the user's computer after it is opened. Ransomware can also be spread when someone visits a website that is infected. The malware on that site is then downloaded to the victim's computer. What can I do about it? When you open your emails, be AWARE! If there is anything at all suspicious, stop! Ask yourself: • Do you know the sender? Are you expecting this email? • How does the sender usually communicate? Look at tone, signature, etc. • Is the sender asking you to click a link, open an attachment or download a file? • Can you verify that the contact information provided in the email is correct? • Does the email involve money movement or wire transfer instructions? Protect your network, customers and vendors. • Attachments: Don't open unexpected attachments until you verify the sender. • Links: Hover over links and only proceed to verified sites. • Backup: Back up your systems regularly to an external hard drive and then disconnect the hard drive from your system to avoid getting infected. • Be aware: Delete suspicious emails. Defend yourself. Be aware. Be smart! Cyberthreats have many forms. The scariest is when the screen suddenly displays a ransomware message. Or when a vendor calls to ask, "Have you received an email from me recently? It wasn't me. Actually, our systems are down. We got hit with ransomware." 11 Northwest FCS

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