Most people over the last week have seen reports about the new ransom-ware that has been released and is infecting computers worldwide. Some big companies like Fed-Ex and even the English health care system have had outages due to this new bug. And I have already gotten many calls and emails about it since the week began.
So what can you do about it? Well first as with all computer problems the best insurance is a good backup stored in a location under your control. The virus can not encrypt files it has no access to. So a back up on a external hard drive not attached to your computer is ideal.
Next the older your O/S the higher your chance of getting this or many of the other viruses floating around the Internet. So update to a current O/S and make sure you keep up with the current security patches. Which you can find here.
Last practice safe hex (old computer joke)…
Don’t click on links from unknown sources. Don’t read email from people you do not know or with weird spam like subject lines. Don’t visit download and porn sites. Use a modern antivirus products (that are also updated).
If none of this makes sense or your not sure you have followed these instructions correctly, feel free to give RenoGeek a call to setup a service call to double check your security.
Here is a link to the .garadget tech support forum.
Seems they shut down a customers device because he gave them a bad review. Not the coolest way to do customer service.
and it’s even funnier when you see that this was a indiegogo project…
With the privacy laws in the USA and other countries being rolled back. It’s more important that you take your privacy more seriously. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a VPN (Virtual private network). But most VPN’s can be tricky for the average computer user to setup.
I have found a web browser that has a built in VPN. So the setup is as easy as clicking on one button in the web browser.
The Browser is called Opera and all you have to do is click on the VPN tab in the address bar and turn the slider to “ON”.
If you use a VPN and a browser in private mode your chances of getting tracked by your ISP and advertisers.
Here is where to get the browser and how set it up…
The browser. http://opera.com
It’s VPN setup…
Viewing in Private mode…
Yesterday the United States Senate voted to let Internet service providers (ISP’s) sell your usage data to any and all advertisers. So if you wonder why when you go to a “questionable” website and then start seeing ads for the same kind of thing shortly after your visit, you will now know why.
But this goes deeper. What if your into off road motorcycles and visit lots of websites about the sport. Would your health and auto insurance shoot up because now anybody can buy a look at your interests and see your into “risky” activities?
Since this is now legal your only defense would be to hide your browser activities. Look for my post about VPN’s if you wish to protect yourself.
It seems that on a number of fronts the new administration wishes to let companies use your data to make a bigger profit, while trashing any last remnant of privacy for their clients.
If old privacy rules are allowed to be weakened or removed altogether you can expect the these thing to occur in quick order…
1. Selling your data to marketers. After all they would love to know all your kinks so they can insert adds for your fav bull whip. 🙂
2. Hijacking your searches. Why should you get to choose where your information comes from?
3. Snooping through your traffic and inserting ads. What, you don’t want somebody looking at what your doing?
4. Pre-installing software on your phone and recording every URL you visit. It’s not like the police, NAS or CIA have ever used any of this information before against anybody, right?
You only get tot keep the rights you stand up for and protect. So it’s up to you if you will keep the freedom you expect on the Internet or let others take it from you.
If your on a high speed, unlimited connection, Microsoft updates should be installed as they come out to insure you have a more stable and in most cases secure computer.
But many people (AT&T I am talking about you) have low bandwidth, low data cap plans that price gouge you and / or throttle your speed after you hit their cap (22 gigs if your on a AT&T “Unlimited” plan).
So if your a Netflix / Youtube junkie with 5 other people on your “Unlimited” plan most of your data is maxed out by the end of the month. But Microsoft makes no real effort to help you by letting you choose what to install (or not install). So your Internet data costs are now determined by Microsoft and not by you.