By now you have probably seen reports of a ransomware attack that is taking place worldwide.
Although major corporations and government agencies are being hit, small business and residential users are subject to being attacked as well.
In this post we won’t go into the technical details of what happens if you’re hit (except the results), we’re going to focus on how to prevent becoming a victim.
You will know if you’re affected because you will lose access to all of your data files (documents, photos, e-mail, etc.) and you’ll see a message indicating that you have a certain period of time to send a “ransom” (hence, ransomware) which is usually in the range of $250-$1,000, in the form of Bitcoin to an e-mail address.
If you’re hit and you have a backup of your files (many of our clients are now using cloud backup as well as a local backup – if you do NOT have this installed, go to http://www.idrive.com , sign up for the 1 Year Plan and use the Code PCMDX) turn off your computer and contact us. We will schedule a time to come our and re-image your computer. There is no other recovery option available.
If you’re hit and you do not have a backup of your files, contact us for further options. The last thing we want to do is to pay the ransom, however, depending on how important your documents are we will explore all options.
Here’s how to prevent THIS attack:
- Make sure your Windows Update is up to date. In Windows 10 your patches are done automatically. In Windows 7, go to Control Panel, Windows Update, and run the update. All PCs patched after March 14, 2017 are safe from THIS attack
- Do not open any attachments in e-mails from people you don’t know, or that indicate they have an invoice attached, and the attachment is a Word, Excel, .zip, or .exe file. Rule of thumb is if you don’t know the sender, don’t open the attachment.
- Do not click on any links in e-mails from senders you don’t know OR if the e-mail is vague in nature.
- Make sure your anti-virus program is up to date. Remember, most AV programs WILL NOT prevent this attack, however, you should have it up to date regardless.
- Train all of your users in the above. Training is the number one prevention method.
- Backup, backup, backup. Backup your files. Backup your computers. If you have questions about how to backup, contact us today.
This post will be updated as we receive more information. Last Update 5/15/17 8:30am