How Much Is Everything On Your Computer Worth To You?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 07:36
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How Much Is Everything On Your Computer Worth To You?

Tags: CryptoLocker | encryption | files | ransomware

Criminals behind a vicious virus, Cryptolocker, are betting between $300 and $2500.  With just one innocent click any one employee can cause the data for an entire company to be compromised.

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Cyber criminals are disguising this damaging virus inside a PDF that is attached to an email that appears to come from UPS or FedEx.  When the intended victim opens the attachment, Cryptolocker is instantly downloaded and installed on their computer.  Once on your computer all of your files are encrypted and held ransom until payment is received.  It is essentially extortion with all your personal documents, photos and files at risk. 

 

Unfortunately, once the encryption of the files occurs, decryption is not likely.  Paying these criminal will only encourage them to do further damage, plus there is no guarantee they will release your files back to you. 

 

Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself:

1.  Backup files – No system is completely secure.  Make sure your files your files are regularly backed up and stored in a safe place.  If your computer is compromised you will be able to still access your files.

 

2.  Use safe e-mail habits – Be wary of e-mail from senders you don’t know, and never download or open an attachment you are sure you know what it is and that it is safe.  You should be especially wary of unexpected email from postal/package services and dispute notifications.

 

3.  Up-to-date programs – Make sure your antivirus and operating system are up-to-date.  If you let these programs get out-of-date, criminals are more likely to infect your computer and use it to break into other computers.

 

Cryptolocker is not the only malicious virus out there.  Every day cyber criminals are coming up with new ways to steal our data.  By keeping your programs up-to-date and using safe web browsing and email habits you can limit the risk of catching one of these nasty viruses. 

 

Read more about Cryptolocker:

http://www.businessinsider.com/block-cryptolocker-virus-2014-1

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