If you don't know what ransomware is, now is the time to get very familiar.
What is Ransomware? - Ransomware is a type of virus or malware that either restricts all access to your files by encrypting them or locks your computer screen with a full screen message preventing access to your PC. In either case, you will be presented a message stating you have to pay money (hence the name ransomware) to be able to access your computer again.
Where does ransomware come from? - In most cases Ransomware is downloaded while visiting a malicious website. It can also be downloaded from clicking on malicious email attachments.
What happens to my files with ransomware? - In most cases you won't know you even have the virus until it's too late. The virus runs in the background encrypting your files and rendering them inaccessible. This goes for any mapped or network drives as well. That's right, your files will be gone. Unfortunately, this is why ransomware is so dangerous. What's worse, is that it may effect your backups as well. Once the virus has finished encrypting your files a message will appear requesting that you pay money to recover the files. Paying is never recommended because there is no guarantee that your files will be recovered.
I have file backups so I am protected, right? - Not necessarily. Depending on the type of backups you have in place you may still be in danger of losing all of your files. For example - If your nightly backup rewrites the previous backup files each night you run the risk of replacing those good backup files with backup files that have been encrypted . This could lose your files for good.
It is imperative to make sure that you keep several versions of your nightly backups. This way, if the virus goes undetected and encrypted files are backed up you can select a backup from a previous date in time before the ransomware hit.
Click here to find an online backup solution that keeps several versions of your files.
What to do if I suspect my computer has the ransomware virus? - If you notice you begin to lose access to some files or the files fail to open you need to immediately remove your computer from the network and then shut down it down. Feel free to contact us to discuss the problem or to have your computer properly cleaned and restored.
Ransomware can be extremely dangerous to your business without implementing the proper safety precautions. Luckily, there are tools and antivirus programs that can help us prevent this virus. Taking action now can save you time, money or even you business. To learn more click here. To receive a free security consultation click here.
What can you expect with this new release?
I have taken the plunge and installed Microsoft's new project on my main computer for full time use. Overall my experience has be surprisingly positive. For those of you currently using Windows 8.1 it is a much needed update bringing organization and fluidity to your computer. For those of you using Windows 7 it's a breath of fresh air with better performance and heightened security while keeping things familiar.
Free! - That's right, Windows 10 is a FREE upgrade for current Windows 7 and 8.1 Pro and Home users. This offer is huge considering all past upgrades would cost users a good amount to make the change. This is, however, a temporary offer. Free upgrades can only be made until July, 29th 2016.
Should I upgrade or not? - From my experience the simple answer is YES. The new Operating System has been exceptionally stable, fast and fluid under my exhaustive use. I have not seen any major issues with everyday use and with the several programs I run. The upgrade process is easy and doesn't take too long. The quicker performance and heightened security features alone are enough for me to recommend an upgrade.
Please contact us or comment below if you have any questions about upgrading or need assistance.
Continue Reading to see common questions and concerns answered below.
How to upgrade? - If your computer is eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10 Microsoft will automatically install an update. Once you reserve your upgrade they will notify you when it is ready to install. Look for this icon on the bottom right hand of the screen to reserve your upgrade.
I don't have the upgrade icon, can I still upgrade? - If you currently have Windows 7 or Windows 8 Home or Pro version then yes you can. Make sure your computer is up to date and run Windows Update manually. If your computer is connected to a domain and managed by a server you will not receive the Windows 10 update. Don't worry, you can still upgrade! The files will have to be installed manually. Give us a call and we can help you with the upgrade.
Will all my files and programs transfer to Windows 10? - During the upgrade process you will be asked if you want to keep your files or start fresh. Obviously, if you want to keep your files select that option. If your data is important to you please read the next paragraph!
Should I have a backup of my files before upgrading? - YYYEEEESSSSS!! I have yet to have any problems upgrading where data was lost, however, I would not want to be the first to run into that problem. You should always have backups of your data whether you are upgrading or not. If you do not have current backups call us now!
What if Windows 10 doesn't work for me or one of my programs? Can I revert back? - There is a very small chance that some programs or drivers will have issues with the new software. If that is the case Microsoft will allow you to revert back to your previous operating system with the click of a button for One month after the time up upgrading. After the 1 month period the previous operating system will need to be reinstalled from the original Operating System disks. *Please note that some programs may need to be reinstalled after reverting back.
How long does the upgrade process take? - This depends on several factors including the hardware, software, and age of your computer. In most cases I have seen computers upgrade in 45 minutes and up to an hour and a half. This could very depending on your device.
Need help upgrading to Windows 10? Contact us here.
Once again Microsoft is getting rid of the old to make room for the new. Just as Windows XP has lost support, Windows server 2003 will soon follow. On July 14, 2015 all support, updates and security patches will cease. This applies to all versions of Server 2003 including Small Business Server 2003.
What does this mean for me? - Well, if you aren't running a 2003 Windows server you have nothing to worry about. If you are, this means an upgrade should be in your very near future. Running a server that is no longer supported by the manufacturer creates several risks. Your outdated server will be vulnerable to any new security threats. Many third party programs and applications may also lose compatibility or support for Server 2003. If you are in an environment where compliance is key, you may fail your security audits. Plain and simple, an upgrade is inevitable. You still have a few months before Server 2003 support ends so now is the best time to begin planning.
What upgrade options are available? - There are several options available for upgrading your 2003 Sever but it really depends on your business needs. In some cases a new Windows Server with upgraded remote features and online access may be the best bet. There are also options available that don't require expensive hardware like hosting your exchange email and files in the cloud. No matter what the solution may be, we are always here to help you find the best tailored fit for your company.
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