Lisa Allen


Raise your hand if you’re computer has ever been infected by a virus or malware –

It’s extra annoying for those of us who are computer challenged.  The latest virus going around is “ransomware,” specifically a form of ransomware called “CryptoLock.”  Once CryptoLocker infiltrates your computer, it encrypts your files — making them unreadable and permanently unusable unless you decrypt them with the attacker’s “private key,” which is unlikely to happen even if you part with the demanded ransom.

Obviously, the best defense against any kind of virus is to take a backup of all your files onto a USB drive.  Here are some other precautions you can take:

  • Don’t click on email attachments unless you know the sender and what the attachments are.
  • Be careful when surfing on music sites or doing online searches of celebrities or other in-the-news topics. They often lead to malware-laden websites or links.
  • Avoid online offers for screen savers, games and the like unless downloaded from reputable vendor websites.
  • Scan your computer using anti-virus software (from a known provider) regularly, and keep its updates and patches up to date.  (Malware often masquerades as anti-virus scanning software, so make sure you are using a reputable anti-virus software.)
  • Make regular backups, and store them somewhere safe, preferably offline.

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