Ransomeware has appeared in our area! Are you protecting your computer properly?

computer-smash

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Last week I received a troubling call from a new client. She had just turned on the main office computer and every single document that she tried to open would just make the computer freeze up and stop working. Panicked, she restarted the computer and a warning appeared on the screen alerting her that her files had been scrambled and she would have to pay 700 dollars in a foreign currency or else the files would be gone forever.

Welcome to the world of Ransomware! Ransomware is softWARE that RANSOMS your files. Even if you don’t run a business, dealing with Ransomware can be a very stressful event. Imagine that your financial spreadsheets, family photos and other important documents are held captive by some anonymous criminal…How do you get the files back successfully? Well, there’s an easy way and a hard way.

Believe it or not, many people and organizations choose to get their files back the hard way. A Sheriff’s office in Tennessee was locked out of their reporting system containing evidence records, investigation files, and non-replicable documents. Because they failed to properly maintain their system, they were forced to pay $572 to get their files back.  In a similar story, a Police department in Massachusetts did not keep their security software updated and had to shell out an even larger amount of $750 dollars.  If you don’t maintain your computer properly and fail to keep your security software up to date then you will be forced to get your files back the hard way and pay 500, or 700+ dollars when ransomware takes over your computer. There will be no other choice. But I have some good news for you…. There is an easy way to get your files back, and It doesn’t cost $700.

The new client that I wrote about above had me come over and check on the computer that had been infected with Ransomware. Things were looking pretty bad. The criminals had scrambled over 1,500 documents that she uses to run her business as well as some family photos that had been stored on the computer. I asked her the most important question that can be asked in one of these types of situations. The answer to this question is the secret weapon to recovering easily (and inexpensively) from a ransomware attack. “How often are you backing up the computer?” The client pulled out a little black box and placed it in my hand. We went to another computer, plugged in the box, and I sighed in relief as the screen listed file after unscrambled file. After locking the bad guys out of the system and cleaning things up, I was able to restore the files, test their functionality and trace the attack to an email received from a trusted contact who’s email account had apparently been invaded by bad guys. The cost of all of this was significantly lower than cost of paying the bad guys.

When your computer gets hit with any type of virus or malicious software it is no fun, and can be dangerous in some cases. Don’t wait until something bad happens to decide that you want to get your computer in shape. Be proactive by maintaining up to date security software, performing frequent backups,  and educating yourself about suspicious items on the web and in your email.

If you desire the help of a professional then Parrish Computer Repair is here to serve you! Call us at 941-306-3888 Send an email to support@parrishtech.com and we’ll answer any questions you have about computer security. No question is a dumb question!

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5 star reviewI give Billy my highest recommendation - do not hesitate to contact this gentlemen with your computer issues. Billy is highly professional, knowledgeable and a pleasure with whom to work. I had been having several issues with my computer, some of which were quite troubling and led me to believe I had been hacked. Billy was at my house that same afternoon and not only fixed my problems but led me through several issues so that I would understand what was happening. He explained things thoroughly and in terms that I could understand. In addition, he is an extremely pleasant and patient man. I hope I don't have further issues, but if I do, I now have a "go-to" guy.

Mary M.

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5 star reviewBilly came to my house the same day I called with a hard drive issue. He was prompt, professional, patient and knowledgeable. He diagnosed the issue, made a recommendation and fixed the issue. He explains everything he does so you understand what he is doing. He also helped fix my smart TV so I could hear Amazon video. I highly recommend Billy to solve your computer and network issues.

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