Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 18, 2017
Use flash drive and ransomware

Ransomware will be used more and more to extort money from people around the world and protecting yourself can help provide peace of mind for you, while others experience tragedy. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from these ransomware attacks.

Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Windows and Microsoft has already released a patch to fix this security issue. Just go to your Windows Update and be certain you have installed all the security updates available.

You should also be using an antivirus software and if it doesn’t include malware protection, you should also use an antimalware program too.

The ransomware called “WannaCry” was released last week and it literally paralyzed many corporations, business and individuals around the world. This ransomware is a powerful virus that locks your computer by encrypting your files and tells you that you must pay a fee to have it unlocked.

Authorities have repeatedly told us not to pay the ransoms, even though the media report that many do pay and have some success in having their computers unlocked. Just know that if you choose to pay the ransom, the hackers can again lock your computer at the touch of a button, trying to force you to pay more. This is typical of many criminals who blackmail for monetary gain.

Prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure in this instance. If you make a backup of all your files and system files by creating a system image, you won’t be in terrible circumstances if your computer is attacked.

If you are not comfortable making a system image, call your computer gal or guy to do it for you. Ask them to show you how, so you can do this often without having to bother them. This is the best way to protect yourself.

If you cannot make a system image, at least purchase a flash drive and make a copy of all your personal files. This is so important; I cannot overemphasize this point.

Unfortunately, making a daily or weekly image or copy can be an annoyance, but this is what most critical businesses do and it appears it is in our best interest as individuals to do it as well.

For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.

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