Newsletter emailed to clients June 2017, specially formatted here for web viewing
IS THE RECENT RANSOMWARE AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS?
The latest ransomware (Petya) has hit the news only a few weeks after the last ransomware WannaCry hit. In response, I emailed my clients to ensure they knew how to be safe against such threats.
Just a quick email to fill you in with some info about the latest Crypto virus that you might be hearing about in the news. The latest is another "Ransomware" type virus that can come through via a dodgey email or just by finding your machine on the internet at random. Yes, it can be a bad thing but if you're doing the usual safe steps you will most likely not be susceptible. Here's what you need to be doing.
Make sure your Windows operating system is up to date. For most of you this is done automatically but if you're on a slow internet your updates might be slow coming down. If you are running Windows XP or Vista stop right now. Hopefully none of you are.
Make sure you have a decent antivirus software and it is up to date and working properly. Some good free ones are Panda, Avira, Avast. Good paid ones are Trend Micro and Kaspersky amongst others.
Don't open suspicious emails and definitely don't open attachments, like word DOCX or Adobe PDFs unless you definitely trust the person. If you're not sure, forward the email to me and I'll check it for you.
Backup your data frequently. If you are hit by a Ransomware often times the only thing to do is wipe the infected files and restore them from a backup. If you don't have a backup you could be in real trouble.
If you are hit by Ransomware, turning the computer off straight away could limit the number of files that get encrypted/corrupted but there is no guarantee of course.
The most common advice is NOT to pay the ransom amount as there is no guarantee the hackers will even restore your data anyway.
If you're unsure whether youre security or backup systems are sufficient please get in touch to discuss further.
Thanks for this information Layne
Is it sufficient to just back up to Dropbox?
Yeah, I'm pretty happy as DropBox as a backup solution. Keep in mind though that if a Cryptovirus does hit, then the contents on your DropBox can also get hit. The benefit of DropBox though is you can revert files to the way they were yesterday, week ago, that sort of thing. However this process can be lengthy so to recover from a disaster from your DropBox could still be a slow process. For this reason I still recommend a separate backup to a USB memory stick or external hard drive. Especially where there is lots of data being backed up. For small amounts it's probably not a big deal to restore from DropBox.