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Ransomware is a form of malware that will lock files on a computer using encryption. Encryption converts files into another format, like a secret code and can only be decoded by a specific decryption key.
Types of Ransomware
Ransomware can present itself in two forms.
Locker ransomware will encrypt the whole hard drive of the computer, essentially locking the user out of the entire system.
Crypto ransomware will only encrypt specific, seemingly important files on the computer, such as word documents, PDFs and image files.
Once the ransomware installs itself, ...
Ransomware has a unique and specific agenda, and one that can be entirely avoided if properly understood.
Most people are unaware of the fact that you don’t have to intentionally download a malicious attachment in order to compromise your computer’s security. Malicious websites and drive-by downloads are just two ways that your security can become compromised by doing nothing more than visiting a website.
Have you ever lost a lot of really important data? Or, alternately, have you ever had a moment of panic where you thought you did? Whether it’s images of a family vacation, a report from work or a semester’s worth of homework, you probably have data on your computer that’s not just valuable, it’s too valuable to lose. Backing up your data regularly will help you to avoid the crushing feeling that comes with finding out that all your hard work and treasured memories are gone.
The Importance of Backing Up
Let’s face it, no matter how great your computer or external hard drive are, one da...
It’s happened to most of us. That urge to look at your phone has become a part of everyday life. Maybe you are expecting a phone call, or perhaps you want to know how many ‘likes’ that picture of your cat has earned. Maybe it’s just that fix your life needs at that moment that only a smartphone can give you. You rummage through your pocket to find it with no luck. Perhaps it’s in the other one. Nope. You try your bag. Nope, again. You break into a sweat.
After what seems like an eternity, you come to the crushing realization that you have lost one of the most valuable material possessions...
Online fraud is one of fastest growing crimes of our time. The ability to be anonymous, and the fact that it can be performed anywhere in the world makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to curb it.
As online fraud continues to grow, an unfortunate number of American citizens might face this scenario: It’s tax season, and you are getting your paperwork together in order to file your taxes. During the process you receive an email from the IRS stating “Congratulations on filing your tax return.” This is a normal email you would expect after you file taxes, however, ...
According to several studies on cost of ownership, users should replace their computer devices every four years. Not everyone will need to upgrade his or her computer every four years, but it’s a good rule to follow to ensure your data is safe and properly protected online.
To help you remember, every time we have a leap year ask yourself: when was the last time I bought a new computer? If you can’t remember, chances are you may be due for an upgrade. Once you’re ready to make the switch, you’ll need to follow a few steps to ensure your old technology has been properly wiped and recycled,...
Technology can add many conveniences to travel: you can check into your flight via smartphone, make last-minute reservations for restaurants or local attractions, take hundreds of photos to commemorate your trip, and even get a little help navigating an unfamiliar city. However, when packing and planning for a vacation, how often do you think of mobile device security? Between picking out the perfect bikini, and loading up all of your ski gear, mobile security is probably the last thing on your mind, but it should be the first. We live so much of our lives through our devices these days; ...
While any time is a good time to adopt new habits, the New Year seems to be the most popular time for resolutions. When most people are resolving to make changes to their lifestyle, health, and habits, a lot of people do not realize that they should consider making resolutions to their digital lifestyle as well. Here are some suggested resolutions to living a healthy and secure online life.
Software Updates- Install Early, Install Often
Software vulnerabilities are security holes discovered and exploited by hackers that allow them to access your computer. The attacks are carried out by...
Have you heard of something called cyber hygiene? Surely brushing teeth and taking showers isn’t something we traditionally associate with technology—yet the term is a useful metaphor for those of us who need to make smart decisions about our smart devices.
Good hygiene is something we’re taught as children and something that generally sticks with us for the rest of our lives. It involves three basic principles: using products/tools that fit our hygiene needs, performing these hygienic tasks correctly, and establishing a routine.
But what does that have to do with your computer?
Spring has finally sprung, and it’s that time of year where a lot of us clean, organize, and simplify our lives. What a lot of people don’t realize is the importance of applying those principles to our digital data as well. We collect, organize and store the things in our lives that are important to us (just ask anyone with a garage).Many of those things packed away in those special storage spaces would be devastating to lose..
But have you ever thought that way about what is on your tablets, computers and mobile phones? Right now, most folks have hundreds of phot...
An unfortunate number of women are becoming victims of cyber crimes. According to a recent study more women are known to use the Internet to enrich their relationships compared to men. Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. The growing reach of the Internet and the rapid spread of information through mobile devices has presented new opportunities that could put some women at risk, so it’s important to be mindful of the...
In today’s fast-paced world, you can be sure that most universities have gone digital. As a result, more students are saving their important papers on their computers and external hard drives. However, from what I’ve seen, that’s about as far as most students go to safeguard their work. With so many hours (and lost sleep) going into these papers, it is essential to make sure you have it backed up in the cloud, because there would be nothing worse than losing all of your hard work due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
If you only save your work on a hard drive, once your compute...
March 31 marks World Backup Day! What is backup? It's a second copy of all your most important files like financial documents, family photos, videos and more. While it's best to backup your files regularly now is as good a time as ever. Here are a few more tips for digital spring cleaning! Read on.
Five easy ways to get started on digital spring cleaning:
Be sure your software is up to date. Ignoring the latest software updates could put you at risk. Companies announce security vulnerabilities as they are discovered and quickly work to fix the vulnerabilities with software updates,...