This post was inspired by one of our clients who had his computer locked by ransomware. For those that don’t know, ransomware is malicious software that blackmail individuals into paying a ransom. Otherwise, they risk their data being published online or lose access to it. Now, back to the story…
The client stated he was browsing the internet when a pop-up appeared offering a free movie download. As soon as he clicked the link, he said the ransomeware instantly locked his computer and demanded $500 payment. When asked if he had a backup of his data, he said no. What could have been a simple fix, turned into a time-consuming and expensive ordeal. This is because he had valuable data (e.g. family photos, original word documents, etc) with no copies. The only option was to boot the system in safe-mode and remove the ransomware bit by bit. Luckily, the labor involved in fixing the computer was less than the ransom and all data was returned to the client ransomeware-free.
If you take steps in protecting your data, you will never have to worry about spending a lot of money in recovering it. Below are a list of things to consider in protecting your data:
- Anti-virus – Everyone should have antivirus software that updates regularly and is effective. Software like Bitdefender not only blocks malicious website, but also guards against ransomware. Tip: Most Colleges offer free software if you are a student.
- External Hardrive – This acts as a backup for your computer files. We recommend having the WB 1 TB Passport connected to your computer at all times. That way, you can set up scheduled backups running in the background without worry.
- The Cloud – Basically backing up your data via the internet. There are many services that offer this service for free (e.g. Google Drive) but offer low storage space. Here are a list of sites that may be of interest: Backblaze , Carbonite , Sosonlinebackup. *Note* This method of backup is slow compared to using external hardrive. Also, if you have sensitive data, be sure to encrypt it before uploading. You are trusting a 3rd party with your sensitive data after all and companies get hacked all the time.
That is all for now. Contact us for questions or computer help!