That picture above is only a small percentage of failed hard drives I've had to replace in my 7 years of business. Some I was able to recover the data off of without too much trouble, but a lot were a complete loss that customers couldn't afford to pay an expensive data recovery firm to attempt to recover their data. I say attempt because there are plenty of drives that can't be recovered no matter how much you spend! People out there please understand, it's not a matter of if your hard drive is going to fail, it when & a lot of the time you won't get a warning. Either you'll go to start it in the morning and get an error or you'll be using it and it will lock up. So if you don't want to lose all your business data or personal data like photos you need to at the very least be backing up on an external hard drive....bare mininum. But if you really want to make sure your data is protected you need a cloud backup solution to go along with it.
If you use website's such as facebook, gmail, instagram, or yahoo just to name a few your senstive information including username and passwords COULD HAVE (key word) been exposed over the past two years due to a vuluneribily in the encryption these websites were using. It's recommended that if you have a password on any of these websites that you change your passwords on them. While it doesn't look like most major bank or brokarage firm was affected (the exception being USAA) if you used the same password or something similar on an affected website and say your online bank change the password there as well and any where else you may have used that same password. In fact it's recommended that everyone change their passwords every 6 months....but I know no one actually does that and I bet most people who read this has never changed their password once they setup their account. So take this opportunity now and change your passwords.
Here's a list of known affected websites:
^^^If you ever see this window and you don't have any backups, go in the corner of the room and cry!!
Up until recently most viruses were mainly just scare tactics not too terribly difficult to remove...at worse it would leave the operating system in an unusable state. This new infect in really no different in that regards the infection itself can be removed fairly quickly by a professional computer expert. However, unlike past ransom ware like fake anti-viruses or the FBI Warning Virus that disabled you're computer but didn't do damage to actual important documents and photos. This new virus 'cryptolocker' encrypts almost all user data. Office files, pdf, photos, financial data, etc. There is no way to decrypt these files without paying the ransom and getting the private key.
Worse still if your computer is part of a network and has access to shared drives those files will get encrypted as well....that also includes any backup drive that's attached to your computer rendering any backups useless.
Here's a few things to prevent it:
So what happens if you get infected and have no backup, should you pay the $300 ransom or however much it is depending on the variant? The concensus is that you should NOT pay since if these criminals don't make any money they might not bother with this sort of method in the future. However, if this is your life on the computer, cherished memories or important financial or business information that you can't stand to lose then well you don't have much of a choice and from what I've read, paying does in fact decrypt the files. Of course if you do decide to pay the ransome please make sure to call a professional like JRD Tech to make sure the infection is completely erradicated so it doesn't decide to rear it's head a few weeks later and demand more money.
Here are a few Tips on staying safe online and avoid getting a malware or virus infections.
As a computer expert I'm tasked with removing viruses and malware from customers computer every day. Some computer it's easy to see how and why they were infected. However, more often then not the customer barely uses their computer only going on line to check the weather, e-mail, or check what's playing at the movies. Yet they manage to get a nasty virus. This Lens will be about prevention and what not to click when going online.
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