What? Pay Ransom For My Data?


A large majority of my life is spent on a keyboard as a Virtual Assistant, and as my title implies, using computers while conducting business on behalf of my clients is imperative for me.

Thankfully, the natural geek in me has an insatiable appetite for technological information and seeks knowledge beyond the comfort of my desk, continually growing, maintaining awareness, and expanding my personal FAQ knowledge base.

However, even my thirsty brain cannot absorb information fast enough to keep up with the racing torrent and speed of technological headlines. Most products in the computer and electronics industry are obsolete before ever hitting the retail floor.

Consumers are constantly flooded as advertising announces new releases of hardware, software, mobile apps, devices among other products. Effective methods of advertising suggests we run out to the nearest place where we can get our hands on the latest, greatest phone, gadget or video game.

But how effective is your subconscious when it comes to communicating the urgency and need for anti-virus software? Do you have protection on all your Android devices, mobile phones and tablets? My mobile anti-virus scan recently found two Malware (Malicious Software) threats on my Droid. Unless you’re using Apple products like an iPhone, iPad, etc. you run a high risk every time you download that next app.

“23 of the top 500 apps on Google Play were found to be high risk” See Infographic Below

Would you know how to live your life without the gadgets you use regularly? Anti-Virus software is essential for keeping your data safe from intrusions and protected from threats. Malicious software technology, just like everything else, unleashes new malicious threats upon consumers daily. Are you and your data protected?

UPDATE By STOPzilla: Nov. 4, 2013
A new kind of computer virus is making the rounds. The Cryptolocker virus is what’s known as “Ransomware.” It encrypts the files on a user’s computer and then demands a payment to get it back. Data is encrypted using a very strong key that’s extremely hard to break. For users, that means that unless they pay the ransom, their files are pretty much gone. To get the files back, they demand payments of anywhere from $300 to $1000. Cryptolocker is being spread by malicious files attached to “phishing” e-mails. The e-mails purport to come from banking or shipping companies, and include attached files which appear to be PDF text files. Clicking on those files will install the virus on recipient’s PC. At this point detection rate is pretty much 0% by all major Antivirus programs. What that means is that by the time it shows up on your machine, it’s too late to stop it.  The standard advice is more important than ever. If you have ANY question at all about whether an e-mail is legitimate, do NOT click on any attached files.
©2013 – Patricia C. ShoffnerCreative Commons License This work by Patricia C. Shoffner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.virtuallyselfemployed.wordpress.com.