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Protect yourself with knowledge in 2017

Happy New Year! We hope 2017 brings you tons of happiness and joy!

So let’s start by making sure your data is backed up in case of infection with the newest lines of Ransomware! As new ideas dawn, we are faced with some serious hacker developments (i.e. Ransomworms-see below). So let’s have a quick refresher on what types of “infections” our systems/networks can get and how to ensure that our data is safe.

Virus – Duplicates itself and does damage to files on the computer. They require a host program to run and usually need music, videos, and/or executable files to move around and further the infection.

Worms -- Replicates itself like a virus, but its goal is to infect as many computers as possible through the internet or storage media. They don’t cause actual harm to the computer, but by replicating over and over it takes up drive space and slows things down to a crawl.

Trojans – Exploit backdoors to the computer so the hacker can sneak in and steal your data.

Adware – Not designed to harm the computer, only to cause annoying pop ups and get you to click on things so the developers can earn some money on otherwise free software.

Spyware – Like the adware, it is usually attached to free programs to track your browsing and other personal details which are sent to hackers. They can also allow the installation of unwanted software from the internet.

Spam – Annoying e-mails from unknown senders. Usually used to advertise or push users to view a specific site. This mail can contain Viruses or Trojans that infect your system when the mail is opened.

Bots – Automated processes designed to interact over the internet without human interaction. These can be used to steal passwords, push spam, log keystrokes, and open back doors to name just a few.

Ransomware – Alters the normal operation of your machine which makes it difficult to use. Once you can no longer use the computer correctly, you receive messages requesting money to get it back in working order.

Finally, we have the dreaded RANSOMWORM -- It can replicate itself across every computer on your network encrypting files throughout. Even going so far as to infect attached drives. Anything connected to the infected computer can become infected itself…one system after another. These new strains are also beginning to attack the system files on your computer, making the computer useless after the files have been encrypted. For this type of attack there is no safe recovery short of replacing the hard drive and restoring a recent backup image or reloading from scratch. And reloading takes several hours increasing your cost of recovery.

The best way to protect yourself and all users on your network is to have great backups. RC Consulting is here to help you maintain current backups, ensure your antivirus products are up to date, and provide training in regards to what types of “clicks” to avoid online and in your e-mails to keep your systems clean.

As always, please contact us with any questions you may have and let’s work together to have a worry free 2017!

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