Protect yourself against Ransomware

Following the weekend’s ransomware outbreak that made headlines all over the world, I want to provide a few basic guidelines to keeping yourself safe.

  • Ensure you have a backup of your data. File history (previous versions) on your pc will not be available once you get hit (may it not happen to you!). You need a backup on an external source.
  • Make sure you use a reliable anti-virus program (Avira, Kaspersky, Bitdefender). I prefer Avira and as additional security, Malwarebytes. *** Remember the free version of malwarebytes does NOT offer realtime protection!
  • Go to https://www.cybereason.com/ and install “Ransomfree”, which is a free program. PCWorld has a nice article about Ransomfree: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3150748/security/this-free-software-protects-your-pc-against-ransomware.html
  • Make sure Microsoft Word is set to block Macro’s – that’s the portal that is used to infect your pc. If you open a document and see gibberish with a request to turn on Macros – delete the document, update your virus scanner, scan your pc.
  • Do not just open an email because it is in your mailbox. If you have the slightest doubts, delete the email. Your data is worth much more. I realise it is often difficult to distinguish between legitimate and dangerous emails but if in doubt, delete!
  • If you are a small business or home business managing you own server, I can give you a long list of known unsafe extensions that should be blocked. Contact me. And my rates will make you smile.

Bottom line is “better safe than sorry”

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