Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't ... FREAK OUT ... about RANSOMWARE

If your PC is critical to your daily life, then it makes sense to avoid 
borrowed from askleo.com
ransomware at all reasonable costs. 

The simple truth is that common sense and a few ounces of prevention are all you need.
  • a firewall - preferably a fairly up-to-date router
  • anti-malware: I recommend Norton for many reasons but, for free, Microsoft Security Essentials will provide decent real-time protection
  • common sense:  only click on attachments, links and pictures that you KNOW are safe;  if not sure, find someone trustworthy to help - and of course, feel free to call me
For additional peace of mind, (a) make backups of your critical stuff and (b) have a recovery plan at the ready.  Again, feel free to call me.


Leo Notenboom, from AskLeo.com, states quite nicely in his blog/newsletter on ransomware that there are two reasons not to pay the ransom.  I would add a third.  On the only PC that I recovered where the owner paid the ransom, the PC had more adverse settings than those where the ransom was not paid. 

All but one PC, where the ransom was not paid, I was able to recover control and restore complete functionality to the pre-infection settings.

In other words, from my seat, paying the ransom removed the initial block but   that made anything less than a complete factory reset unreasonable at best and incredibly time consuming and difficult at worst.

By the way, I subscribe to Ask Leo.  He is one of the best bloggers for helping the tech-ignorant and tech-adverse;  it is not ironic that I find he writes in a clear, concise, understandable tone.