Security Alert!

February 19, 2016

Important Security Alert!

Back in July of 2015, we updated you on Cryptowall. If you want to revisit that article, here’s a link to it:

Cryptowall is classified as RansomWare. A nasty malicious piece of software that encrypts all of your files and holds them for ransom. The only way to get your files back is to either pay the ransom or restore them from backup.

I wish there was a new sherriff in town to protect us. But unfortunately, there’s a new bad guy in town. An new RansomWare package was released this week called Locky. Locky recently took out the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s electronic database for 10 days. Like Cryptowall, its devastating.

To avoid falling victim to RansomWare, follow these rules:

  1. Have good, up-to-date, unexpired security software.
  2. Do not click on any links in an email, even if it looks legit. Insead, manually go to the website in question.
  3. Do not open any attachments in email unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN it’s safe. Locky typically spreads itself via a Microsoft Word file attached to an email.
  4. Avoid clicking on any advertisements on websites.
  5. If a website tells you your computer is infected, don’t believe it, don’t click on anything, and don’t call any numbers it tells you to call.
  6. When a message pops up on your screen, take the time to read it.
  7. If you suspect you may have opened an attached Word file and may have infected your computer and you don’t have a cloud backup service, shut your computer down immediately and call us.

To protect the data stored on your computer, we recommend that you have a good backup. But in order to protect against RansomWare, not just any backup will do. It really needs to be a good cloud backup service. If you back up to an external hard drive, Locky can encrypt it too. You can disconnect your external hard drive after you back it up, but if you forget and RansomWare makes it onto your computer, you could lose your files.

Our recommended cloud backup service for residential customers is Carbonite. For business customers who want to back up their server, we recommend CrashPlan. If you would like to get Carbonite or CrashPlan, please contact us and we will take care of it for you.

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