Protecting your digital files

Protecting your digital files has always been a challenge and now we have one more thing to look out for when doing so.  One of the newest issues we are faced with are viruses or trogans that install on your computer then at a set time will lock down your computer and not allow you access to your computer till such a time that you pay for a hacker to unlock your computer. These go by a number of names but the best one that I have heard is Ransomware Virus. I have heard from a number of industry experts that have been dealing with this problem and they tell me that once locked down your computer is done, it is very hard if not impossible to unlock the computer without paying for the code and even then it is iffy that the code will work once the hackers get your money.  A good thing that has happened lately is that with the collapse of the Bitcoin this scam is in a little trouble as the currency the hackers prefered was the untraceable Bitcoin, unfortunately the hackers are changing their operation to account for this and it is continuing to be an issue and to grow.

So how do we protect our digital images and other files on our computers? Well it goes back to the basic principle of backing up your files and keeping the back-ups off line. This can be done with DVD’s or external hard drives or if you only have a few files with a cloud storage account. The big thing here is that the files need to be saved on something other than your operating hard drive and some say on something that is not hooked up to your computer when the virus attacks.

The second thing is that we have to take a interest in our computers health, do not go to sites that may be iffy, have a good firewall and anti virus running and check your computer (especially the start up menu) to make sure that you only have the programs that you want running on your computer. Also make sure that you keep your firewall and anti virus up-to-date and that you are scanning your computer. I just saw a laptop that had all the right protection installed and updated but a scan was never done, once the scan was done two viruses were detected and removed.

This is an area that we have to be concerned about, take some precautions, but at the same time lets not panic.

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