Now more then ever is the time to be prepared

With the breaking news of infections in the NHS, Fedex, Telefonica and no doubt many more, now is a good time to review your security and backups.

This virus will encrypt all of your files, photos , music and then ask you for money to decrypt. In a lot of cases, the only way to retrieve the files is to pay so take some precautions that could save you a lot of money!

Avoid it!
nobody is 100% safe but there are some simple things you can do to try and avoid infection
  • avoid opening attachments in emails - even if you know the sender (they may not know they have sent it, if they are infected).
  • if you do receive an email with an attachment, perhaps check with the sender first to confirm its something they meant to send and is expected.
  • try to avoid forwarding on 'joke emails' (especially sharing everyone's email addresses in the to: or cc: fields - use the bcc: field if you have to send to mulptiple people) - these invariably contain attachments and puts users in a mindset to instantly open emails to see what the next hilarity is.
Think before opening is the best advice!

'Off-line'  or an 'air-gap' backup is the best form of defense. 

When this virus propagates, it travels around your pc searching for files to encrypt and this includes any attached devices such as USB sticks or external drives. 

Therefore whilst you may have a drive that runs 'Windows File History', for example, and so backs up files as you work, if this drive is attached at time of infection, it becomes encrypted and therefore useless.

So backup to an external device and keep it unattached at any other time.

If you are infected, you can wipe the PC, start again and restore the backup. ( this can be the only way to ensure the virus is gone )

So if you are in two minds about getting an external backup, setting a backup up, think about this;

Can you lose your files without worry?
Do you want those photos, important documents lost forever?

If so, as you were - if not, backup and detach!

Keep safe people, and keep an eye on the news to see where else this infection could go - (if you know someone in an infected company, they could unknowingly send an email with the dreaded attachment)

As usual, any advice sought can be directed to my email address; rob@robsmith-it.com or website; www.robsmith-it.com, and if you require assistance, Rob Smith is your man ;)