Protect your computer

Last changed: 24 November 2023

Ransomware, kidnapping a computer

Ransomware, sometimes called cryptovirus, is malware that can encrypt all or part of your content of your computer. This means that you can not access part of information or that you even can not start your computer without a password to decrypt. The attacker demands a ransom for the decryption password. This is a type of malware that has existed for a while but it seems to become more common.

Do not follow strange links and do not open strange attachments.
Make sure you always have an updated antivirus protection to avoid infection.
If you get infected, do not pay the ransom, there is a risk you do not receive the password or the attacker requires more money. Update the software on your computer and restore data from backups. Contact your IT coordinator or IT department for help.

Telemarketing scams

Telemarketing scams are a way of tricking people to perform actions on their computers, to make them reveal financial credentials, or "just" sell worthless subscription to them by the phon.

  • "Hey, this is from the security company xxx. Your computer is sending error messages, the computer seems infected. This must be sorted out immediately, otherwise we have to report you... I can help you. "
  • "Something is wrong with your credit card. Give me your card number and code and I'll fix it for you. "

Honest companies do not ask for passwords or code, either by mail, telephone or any other way.

  • Ask yourself if this seems reasonable?
  • Ask if you can call them back if you are unsure. Warning for expensive calls...
  • Never give away your financial information if you are not sure of the source.
  • Never give a stranger remote access to your computer.
  • Make sure your computer has updated anti-virus protection and firewall.
  • Contact your credit card company or the IT coordinator if you are unsure of what have happened.


Phishing is a way to try to mislead a user to reveal sensitive information, such as his login information. SLU is often subjected to phishing attempts through fake e-mail messages with the invitation to click on the attached link or to fill in personal login information in the e-mail.

What may it look like?´

Phishing attempts are of different quality. Some are clumsily made, while others are very credible. Sometimes even our own logo is used. The e-mail may have subject lines such as “Confirm password and username”, “Update your web mail account”, “Confirm your account”, “You have received a Super Gift Card”, “Maintenance”, “Customer Service” and much more. The e-mails often look realistic and seem to come from both internal and external senders, such as,,, or the like.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Do NOT respond to this type of e-mail
  • Do NOT click on attached links from a sender you do not know
  • Do NOT give out your password, it is personal
  • Be suspicious of e-mail whose sender you do not know

What do you do if you have been exposed?

If you submitted the login information before you became suspicious, it is very important that you immediately change your password. If you need help with this or with the computer in general, contact the IT Support or your IT coordinator.


Spam is unwanted e-mail messages that the receiver has not ordered, such as attempts of fraud, mail shots etc. Spam can be very annoying, even in its simplest form. In addition, spam sometimes link to websites with malicious codes or to malicious codes concealed in an attachment or an image, with the purpose that in the next step send out spam, steal personal information, etc.

What does it look like?

The list of examples of spam can be endless. The subject line can be e.g. Waiting for your reply; Dear Beneficiary; Lucky game; Make quick money; Buy Viagra; For lush love effects; Become ero-bomb. Sometimes you can suspect a spam from looking at the sender, but it may also come from a sender you trust. Examples of senders are LinkedIn, Microsoft, Compaq Inc, Big Dice Club and Daisy.

What does SLU do?

Incoming e-mails are filtered through a spam filter centrally at SLU, before being sent to each user.

How can you protect yourself?


  • Think before you disclose your SLU address. It may sometimes be appropriate to get an e-mail address that you use separately in discussion forums, newsletters etc and that is easy to change if it gets exposed to much spam. There are several free e-mail providers such as gmail, spray and hotmail. Check in which manner they may be used and remember never to send sensitive information over an open e-mail.
  • Check the web site where you plan to enter your e-mail address. Is there a policy for how your e-mail address is stored and used? Is the address forwarded e.g. to other sales organisations?
  • If your e-mail address is publicly displayed on a website, it may need to be hidden for automatic e-mail address collectors. You can avoid writing the actual address and also avoid to link directly to the mail address. You can, for example, write “Karl [dot] Karlsson [at] SLU [dot] se”.
  • Make sure to always have an updated protection to malicious codes.

In case of suspected spam

  • Does the address and the subject line seem reliable? If not, delete the message without opening it.
  • Do not reply to spam. By responding, you confirm your e-mail address. However, you can of course respond to newsletters and the like that you have ordered, e.g. in order to unsubscribe to them.
  • Do not click on attachments or links if you do not know what it is. Hold the computer mouse over the link or attachment, without clicking, to get more information.

What do you do if you have been exposed?

Spam pops up constantly in various forms. If you suspect that your computer has been taken over, been affected by malicious codes or something similar, immediately contact the IT Support Unit or your IT coordinator.