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 is Phishing? - Phishing is the attempt to steal information through electronic communication by misleading the user to believe the source is legitimate. In other words, those fake emails posing to be your bank or airline asking you to confirm information by "clicking here" then installing malware on your computer. I'm sure you have heard about them or even received an email like that yourself.
One Click - I cannot stress enough how dangerous these emails can be. All it takes is one click. One small mistake can infect your computer and cause a crisis. One click could allow your personal data or credit card information to be copied. One click could send the infection to all of your contacts. One click could even destroy all of your files permanently. The damage could be devastating.
Staying safe - Unfortunately, the best protection against phishing is ourselves. I say unfortunately because most people don't know what to look for or move to quick to think about it. Always be on the lookout for these fake emails. Never open an email that looks suspicious. Never open an attachment you aren't expecting. Remember even trusted sources like coworkers or friends can be hacked. When in doubt, ask us! We'll gladly take a look and let you know for sure if its legitimate.
Take the test! - Take the tests below to see how good you are a catching the scams.
Tips to be even more prepared to find those hazardous emails:
Comments, questions or suggestions? Please comment on this page or contact us here.