©Verte Photography All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Crypto Crud

It's malicious, a virus designed to prey on the one thing people hold so near,
and yet are typically so horrifically undereducated about protecting.
Have you heard?
 Are you at risk?

The newest in a round of computer viruses is making it's way around in cyberspace. This one comes to you via email and is usually embedded into an attachment that you download and open. The ultimate goal of this infection is to hold your computer
 ransom and encrypt your files until you pay the fee to have it removed and the files decrypted

The reason this newest virus is making the news... the type of file it is targeting..

Your Images.

After the system becomes infected, the CryptoLocker Virus will immediately start popping up on the computer.  If this happens, the best course of action is to remove it immediately.  The longer it stays on the system, the more difficult it becomes to remove and the more damage it can do to the system.

The easiest way not to fall prey to such a virus is to not open attachments that you are unsure of. Even if the email comes from a known account... if it is just a web link, or an attachment with a generic greeting... you should CALL your friend and verify that they sent it to you first!  
Be smart, use some common sense when your dealing with anything online! 

You wouldn't walk down the street waving around a million dollars in cash right?

There are a few additional steps you can take to protect yourself! 
Not just from this newest threat but for all the others that will come after it.

Thankfully many security and virus checker programs are already coming out with updates in order to find and remove this virus. If you don't already have something like...

(What I use, and have had great luck with as a anti-virus, internet security program)
Hitman Pro 
(which is a secondary line of defense, that I also use.) 
I suggest you look into a virus / malware security program that would best suit your needs. 
While I use these two... there are several options out there and I suggest you do your research in selecting your own.
If you're online, on a computer or any device that also contains important documents or images you want to protect that you make sure you install some sort of virus and malware protections. 
Yes. DEVICE. Even your smartphone or tablets could be suspepable to viruses and malware.

The second step I suggest would be to BACK UP your images regularly.
Back them up to a removeable harddrive, a NAS, the cloud... Disks, USB....
I suggest at least 3 different options. 
I personally drop our family images onto disks and keep a copy in our fire/waterproof safe along with a copy that is sent to Grandma, so we have one complete set "off site" so to speak.

I also use BACKBLAZE
which is a cloud based backup system that copies your ENTIRE system, as many hard drives as you want, for roughtly $5 a month. You can set it to run at night, so you have a continuous cloud backup. 
I personally like Backblaze over other cloud backup systems because you can download a whole drive, or 1 file. You can also order a drive or USB of your backup to be shipped to you if your entire computer crashes. Many people find sites such as Dropbox, or even their Google Drive account a suitable option for an online storage option for documents and image storage.
It's peace of mind. 
I also, backup all Images (personal and professional) to a removable hard drive weekly as well as a NAS (Network Attached Storage) which is basically several Hard Drives that are connected to my network. It backups any changes, or new files each night.

I don't believe that this is the first, nor will it be the last virus that will seek to attack at the heartstrings of your family... those things that everyone holds most precious... your family.
Your memories. 

I can not begin to tell you how many clients and friends I have heard crying and devastated that their images have been lost... either from computer crashes, virus, or (eek) a lost phone.With the release of this newest virus it's a good time to remind each of you how easily digital files can be lost.

However, if you take a little time... spend a minor amount of money you can safegaurd yourself!

1 comment:

  1. What an important post! I didn't even think about protecting images! I'm going to take care of that right now!