Ransomeware Computer VIrus

Ransomware computer viruses are making the rounds with computer users.  They are encrypting the files, pictures, documents and music and demanding the victims pay a ransom of hundreds of dollars with payment made via Bitcoin or a cash voucher.  Some offer a countdown timer as a form of threat that if you dont pay the ransom, all of your files are gone, forever.  Believe it or not, many of these cybercriminals will provide the key to unlock all your data, if you cave and pay them.

But you don’t need to pay them anything if you have a recent copy of your data.  However, if you are using a cloud program like Carbonite, Mozy, CrashPlan, Dropbox or Google Drive, you may have a problem.  Why?  Because your computer sees the newly encrypted file as an update or change and backs up that new file to your cloud provider…………which overwrites your last good copy……….so you are left with a cloud backup of your encrypted files.  Not very helpful.  If you have data thats important, follow the Rule Of Three, sometimes called the 3-2-1 data backup philosophy.

Basically it means that you should have 3 copies of your data, on 2 different types of media and 1 off-site backup.  So that means some sort of local backup as well as a cloud backup.

So you have all your data and are good to go, right?  Just have to remove the virus and get back to happy computing?  Not so fast.

While you may be able to remove the virus from your computer, Prairie Star Technology recommends that you actually wipe the hard drive , reformat and completely reinstall the operating system from scratch. If you don’t do this, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the ransomeware computer virus resurrects itself and RE-ENCRYPTS all your data AGAIN!  What a pain! Stupid Cyber Criminals!!!

A successful recovery of a ransomware computer virus also means reinstalling all your programs.  You do have an inventory of all that expensive software you have installed on your computer?  Without the license numbers, you may not be able to reinstall programs like Microsoft Office, Intuit Quickbooks or Adobe Photoshop.   This could mean the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  Belarc Advisor is a great program that can tell you the license number of a number of software programs.

Of course, the best protection from getting one of these nasty ransomeware computer virus ‘s on your PC is to have a top shelf Internet security suite, a process to manage all the recurring software updates that are constantly being released, preventative maintenance on the PC and a quality backup

If you live in Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee, Mission, Prairie Village or Kansas City and think that you may have a ransomware computer virus, some other computer virus and want it removed and your computer restored, call Prairie Star Technology at 913/730-6262.  You can rely on Prairie Star to make your Technology work for you.