RESCUECOM Reports on Computer Security
How do I keep my system, data, and information safe and secure?
We have all heard horror stories about hundreds of thousands of companies, our government, and individuals getting hacked and having to deal with viruses, malware and ransomware.
Despite those warnings, too many people fail to take the minimum steps to protect their computers and their important information.
The latest ransomware attack just happened recently when the giant international account firm Wolfers Kluwer had all its computers locked up and unusable until a ransom was paid.
“Wolters Kluwer provides software and services to all of the top 100 accounting firms in the U.S., 90% of top global banks and 93% of Fortune 500 companies, according to its web site… leaving customers unable to work, access customer tax returns or personal information,” reports CNBC.
The cryptolocker virus is a form of malware known as ransomware for good reason. When you face a ransomware attack, you must pay a ransom to unlock your computer and its files. Ransomware will hijack your documents and completely lock you out of your computer. The hacker who has attacked your computer will then demand a payment if you ever hope to use your computer again.
“I think everyone should expect to be attacked,” Says the FBI’s Mike Christman, an expert in cyber-crimes.
There are many programs from many companies you can easily download online for free, but most are ineffective with very basic options, little more than advertisements for the paid versions. A backup drive also won’t help because you will simply be carrying the virus to the backup.
By spending a little money each year, you can be protected against all but zero day viruses. A zero-day virus is one which is unknown or for which no one has created software to fight, perhaps because it is too new. Hackers can use a zero-day virus to great effect until someone creates a defense for it.
Another way to protect your information is by paying to have it saved in the cloud.
But pay close attention to news about potential threats to cloud stored data; a study earlier this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicted that cloud computing businesses and their data storehouses will be targets for the next major ransomware attack.
Because most of us use Windows operating systems, many rely on Windows Defender – free – for protection.
You should consider Defender a baseline starting point for protection. Most anti-virus programs available on the market offer much more protection. To be protected, you must use good antivirus software.
How do I protect my children when they are online?
There are several ways to ensure your children are protected when they go online. Along with proper security software, supervision is the best protection, but if you are unable to stand over their shoulder while they surf, you can use parental controls content filtering software.
Software available for purchase includes NetNanny or Wavecrest, among others. Browsers themselves have built-in parental controls, which remain effective so long as children do not have the password to bypass it. Keep in mind you no longer have to simply worry about your children on a computer, but their mobile devices and gaming platforms. The best of them have parental control options as well.
The simple fact is it is never okay to leave your family or your computer vulnerable to the numerous threats lurking on the Internet. Clearly the best option is strong paid antivirus software. Decide what works best for your situation so you are always safe.
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