Hello again! I hope you had a great week!
Well, the hackers and scammers of the world just never seem to let up.
In fact, this past week was a nightmare for the hundreds of thousands of institutions and individuals who were hit by the massive “WannaCry” ransomware attack.
Ransomware is perhaps the biggest threat facing computer users today, but it’s actually pretty easy to protect your PC from getting hit by it. And luckily, it’s even easier to ensure that you won’t lose your irreplaceable files if you do end up getting hit.
First, lets talk about some things you can do to protect your PC from ransomware attacks.
At it’s most basic level, ransomware is simply another form of malware, and there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of falling victim to malware attacks:
1 – Avoid malicious emails and text messages – Spamming the masses with malicious emails and SMS text messages is still the preferred method for distributing malware to as many computers and mobile devices as possible. Read this post to learn how to recognize and avoid them.
2 – Avoid malicious links – Be extremely careful about the links you click on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites, and NEVER follow a link in an email or text message unless you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that both the email and the links contained within it are safe.
3 – Avoid malicious / fraudulent websites – The Internet is much like a large city in that it has good areas and not so great areas. Try your best to avoid the not so great areas (websites) and trust your browser when it displays an alert that the website you’re about to visit could harm your PC. Some of those alerts are false positives for sure, but why take the chance?
That takes care of the “prevention” part of this discussion. Now lets discuss an easy and effective way to recover from a successful ransomware attack.
While the tips mentioned above can help you avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack, they certainly aren’t fool-proof. The hackers and scammers of the world are getting better at their devious craft every day, and as humans we simply make mistakes at times.
That being said, there’s one very simple thing you can do to ensure that you’ll be able to quickly get your PC back up and running again if you ever do get hit with ransomware. And you absolutely, positively won’t lose any of your precious files either.
What is this “magic” thing can can completely mitigate a successful ransomware attack? Why it’s the trusty backup, of course!
Having a recent backup of your entire hard drive will make it easy to restore your PC to its previous state even if ransomware does manage to infect your machine and encypt all of your files.
Creating a new System Image Backup on a regular basis is the most effective way to ensure that you’ll be able to quickly recover should a ransomware attack succeed at locking your machine up tight by encrypting all the files on your hard drive.
It’s easy to create a System Image Backup of your computer’s hard drive. All you’ll need is an external USB hard drive (or SSD) and the instructions for your version of Windows.
Bottom line: Ransomware is spreading like wildfire these days, but knowing how to avoid it if possible and quickly recover from it if your PC gets hit will allow you to sleep a lot better at night.
Well, that’s it for this week. If you have a tech question that you would like for me to answer, click here and send it in!
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Congrats to Diane P. of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada for winning an awesome WD My Book 6TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Backup in April’s Tech Gear Giveaway.
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I hope you found this edition of the newsletter useful and interesting. If so, I hope you’ll consider passing it on to any of your friends and associates who might enjoy reading it as well.
Thanks a bunch,