So I just watched the NCIS episode Bowl Of Cherries tonight. The big case was a case of ransomware. If you haven’t heard about ransomware, it’s a computer virus which encrypts your data and offers to sell you the decryption key so you can unlock your data. Typically the cost is $500 to $1000. I’ve heard too many real ransomware stories, it’s why keep saying everyone needs to back up their data and why everyone needs to be concerned about computer security. If you’re in the Greater Indianapolis area, and you need help backing up your data please call me.
It seems like every time I’m talking with someone about computers, I keep mentioning two topics. First, I am almost always reminding people to back up their data. Second, I try to explain how important it is to think more about computer security and to act on those thoughts. On the topic of computer security, you could do a lot worse than read the blogs of Brian Krebs and Bruce Schneier. We all live in a civilization more and more dependent on the Internet, so we need to all pay attention to keeping it secure and working.
The thing that scares me the most about computers in this day and age is ransomware. Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts your data and then offers to sell you the key to unlock your data. I’ve seen too many people get ransomware on their computers and lose data.
Please always have at least one offline (not connected to your computer) backup of your data. You can buy USB memory sticks very cheaply. Two or three of them can greatly reduce your risks of losing data. That way if you somehow wind up with ransomware on your computer, you can restore from that backup, and turn a disaster into an inconvenience.