Really nasty viruses

As the title would suggest there are some terrible viruses going around that really cause some heart ache. These are some really nasty viruses and just in my dealings alone have come across 5 or so people who have suffered from their wrath.

Ok so you’ve made me really scared! But what am I up against?

Well in a nutshell they are programs that you the end user download and run then they find and encrypt all non core system files.

Sounds ominous, but what is encryption?

Encryption is in itself not evil. But it isn’t out right good either. Banks (and a host of other websites and Internet related data transmissions) use encryption in an attempt to keep data safe. However it is only in recent years¬†that the bad guys have made, albeit ingenious, programs that utilize encryption for evil.

Simply put in this case encryption is like somebody taking your lunch box and padlocking it with a lock and chain that nothing can break in, not even bolt cutters. So even though you are hungry and just want to eat your lunch you can’t because its impregnable.

But doesn’t TechCare provide backup solutions? Aren’t they protected against this? Don’t you use encryption-thingy-whats-me-call-it?

Yes we do use Enterprise grade backup software which uses your password (the key), encrypts all your chosen documents, photo’s, music, etc (the lock) and then stores it either locally only or locally and in the cloud. The unfortunate reality is that some clients, no intended shame on them, have opted out of the cloud backup solution and have chosen rather to only use local backup. It’s these clients who are at greater risk.

Why am I at a greater risk of my backups not protecting me from these type of viruses?

Well because the viruses are that smart that they are looking specifically backups out there. They want to get that backup first, because then all hope is lost. The cloud based backup requires the use of the password to unlock the lock first to allow new data in or out. The viruses don’t have this password and therefore cannot get in through the front door.

What can I do to stop this from happening? What are my options?

BE VIGILANT IN WHATEVER YOU DOWNLOAD from the Internet! This is the first and most effective line of defence. Double check what email you have received. Even if you do have a rich Uncle, what is the likelihood of him leaving you thousands of dollars? If you have an Australian Post parcel why would they contact you via email to download something not from the http://www.auspost.com.au website? Check the sender’s email address – does it say no-reply@auspost.com.au or does it say something like auspost@gmail.com or auspost@wordpress.com. These last email addresses are known to be SPAMMERS and we DO NOT LIKE THEM!!!

Realistically speaking the unfortunate reality is that we HAVE to be sceptical about every email that comes into our Inbox. Even if it lines up perfectly, check it, then double check and then triple check.

Clients of mine have lost crazy amounts of digital memories, heaps of hours of work forever gone and countless unknown ramifications because they just didn’t see the warning signs.

That being said please all follow these FREE tips:

  • Keep your Anti-virus updated – if you don’t have one get one!
  • Keep your Windows computer updated – should happen automatically but check again
  • Keep vigilant when downloading ANYTHING from the Internet. Be extremely careful in what sites you visit and what links you click.
  • Most of the big web browsers – Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc – warn you “Are you SURE you want to RUN this program”. PDF’s or documents are NOT programs, they are files. You need Adobe Reader or similar to READ them. Microsoft Word or similar is required to open .doc’s.
  • If you get an email that says you need to download your invoice, your FREE Microsoft upgrade to Windows 10 or whatever cleverly chosen words to convince you its legitimate, STOP! If you have already downloaded whatever it is check the extension. If it is a “.exe” (executable file) DO NOT RUN IT!!!
  • If in doubt don’t run it. Call TechCare!

Hopefully this helps someone out there, if so then that is great.

Have a great day and all the very best.

Steven Swarts

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