Security Tips

WiFi-security-risksComputer and network security is of the utmost importance these days.  With cyber crime on the rise it’s important that people take the time to learn best practices to ensure that their data stays safe.  This is especially true for businesses.  This article will attempt to point out various tips that you can use in order to maintain and protect your system.

Use A VPN

If you’re on a public wifi network then we highly recommend using a VPN in order to ensure that your data remains secure.  Someone can sniff out data transmission very easily on an unsecured network, and if you’re doing any banking or credit card transactions your information could become compromised.  We highly recommend Tunnelbear in order to add an extra layer of encryption to your data.  This will hopefully prevent people from “eavesdropping” on your data when you surf the net on an unprotected network.

Get A Spyware Removal Software Program

Sometimes spyware sneaks onto your computer and gets past your antivirus software.  This is because malware and spyware act like legitimate programs.  However, they can hijack your computer and cause data leakage to people listening in.  In order to prevent this you should regularly sweep your system with an antispyware software program such as Spyhunter.  It’s a very safe, useful, and effective tool, as this article suggests, and you can rest assured that your computer is safe.  The software also gets rid of annoying adware that can potentially hijack your system.

Avoid Internet Bad Neighborhoods

If you can, avoid browsing internet “bad neighborhoods”.  Websites such as adult pages, hacking websites and forums, and music sharing sites are notorious for drive by downloads and other bad stuff.  Don’t even try to browse these sites!  It’s a hotbed of virus activity.  Even legitimate sites can get hacked and infected with drive by viruses and malware, however it’s more likely on the shadier parts of the internet.

Back up Your Data

If you don’t have a data backup plan in place then you’re playing with fire.  The thing about data backups is that they can really save your butt if you are attacked with a virus or malware.  Obviously having a backup is also a very valuable thing if your computer is stolen or becomes damaged.  You will thank yourself later.  If you can’t remember to run backups, then consider automating the process.  I’m a huge fan of Backblaze and I use it for my video editing computer.  I use MyPCBackup for my laptop as I have fewer files and need greater access to them.

The thing about Backblaze is that it’s so quiet and runs in the background, and you’ll never even notice it.  Set it up once and you won’t even have to think about it.  But you can then rest assured that all your data is backed up on their safe, secure, and off site servers.

The thing is, even if you back up your data on an external hard drive, what if that drive gets damaged or stolen along with your computer?  This is the true strength of cloud backups.

Is Ransomware Really a Threat?

ransomwareCyber criminals continue to invent new methods to victimize computer users, and the use of ransomware is one of the more inventive techniques identified to do so. Ransomware originated in eastern Europe, but has since spread to virtually all parts of the world. While there has been some progress in finding and prosecuting those responsible, it’s difficult to track and isolate offenders when they are located in uncooperative countries. That suggests the best defense against ransomware is a strong offense.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is software inadvertently downloaded onto a computer from a remote site. The ransomware variants may act differently, but the net result is a freezing of access to data on an infected computer. The computer owner is then instructed to deliver a ransom in exchange for a key to unlock the data being held. Once the required funds are delivered, the key may or may not be delivered.

How can users protect themselves from ransomware threats?

Because the ransomware in the wild is not all the same, it can be difficult to be fully protected from an infection. However, there are basic steps computer users can take to minimize the likelihood of infection. First, install virus software and update it frequently. Ideally, the virus software should run automatically to provide maximum protection. Many of the ransomware variants can be detected by virus protection software. Next, make sure all data is frequently backed up to a cloud-based service or a remote hard drive that is not kept connected to the computer being backed up.

What can owners do if ransomware still finds its way onto a computer?

No matter how careful a computer owner is, ransomware is insidious and may infect a computer from seemingly innocuous sources. Security experts do not recommend paying a ransom, as doing so can lead to additional security issues. However, some individuals find themselves paying because the data being held may be difficult or impossible to replace, and it can be exceedingly difficult to get rid of ransomware. Before paying anything, contact local law enforcement personnel and a data restoration expert for advice.

The simple truth is that ransomware removal is difficult, and most individuals simply do not have the skills needed to recover infected data and restore the computer. That is what the cyber criminals are counting on. They make it tempting to simply pay the ransom and get on with life.