Saturday, December 6, 2014

Class Summary 12-4-2014

Only a few had been at the meeting on Tuesday evening, so many had not heard about the ransom ware that is out there. Scott spent a lot of time telling us about it. A number of his clients have been affected by it. Simply stated it is malware that encrypts all the files on your computer. You are locked out and a message on the screen tells you that you have 72 hours to pay them $xxx and they will send you the code needed to unlock your files. If you do not pay they throw away your code and you can never get your files back.

What can you do about it? Backup. Backup. Backup.

If you have an image backup of your computer using one of the programs recommended by the club like Acronis, EaseUS, etc, you can reformat your locked hard drive and get all your programs and files back. But they will only be as current as of the date of that backup. So it is very important to make a new image frequently.

You can go to the site and download cryptoprevent. It will work in the background attempting to prevent and of these crypto malware programs to get on your computer. However, it can only work to prevent what it knows about, so new variations of the malware could get by it.
What can you do about it? Backup. Backup. Backup.

Also, the programs suggested by the club to do maintenance on your computer work great. But they work after the fact. They find what you have already got and take it off. I am talking about CCleaner, MalwareBytes, SuperAntispyware, Glary Utilities as well as backing up your files.

If you spend the $20-30 dollars on programs such as MalwareBytes it will notice the malware that is trying to get on your computer and not allow it. You do not have to purchase them all, but it might be worthwhile to get one or two. And they work well with your antivirus program.

Here is another tool to add to your maintenance toolbox, adwcleaner. You can get it at and it is also free. Once again, this will check for issues already on your machine and will not prevent you from getting them.

One of our members had a good idea during class today. Schedule yourself to run one of these programs each day, Monday through Friday. Then run your image backup every weekend. In between image backups, copy your day to day files to your one drive, dropbox, or just off to a USB flash drive. Or use an online backup service like Mozy using the code GFBU22 to get and extra 250mb of free storage.. Then if you run into trouble you can get your system back from last weekend's image and your files back from wherever you saved them during the week.

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