Keep an Eye Out for “Ransomware”

You’ve heard of malware and spyware by now, and you likely have a good idea of how to protect your computer from malicious programs that can take information right off of your computer and share it with hackers. This week we’re talking about a specific type of malware, and a pretty vicious one at that. The creators of ransomware of not only hack your computer, but they’ve also developed a sneaky way to get money from you (you know, or your credit card number). In order to get control of your computer back, you have to pay them a ransom of $300. Sound pretty awful? It is. It’s also almost impossible to stop.

The most recent and powerful piece of ransomware is brought to us by Cryptolocker. Basically what this does is use a “botnet” (network of hijacked computers) to spread viruses to multiple computers. The FBI did try to shut Cryptolocker down, but their methods weren’t exactly flawless or foolproof. They seized Cryptolocker’s servers and replaced them with FBI servers. The problem is that the actual ransomware is still around. It just needs to be updated. Hackers are smart enough to figure out a way to start distributing the malware again. All they have to do is switch their method of delivery. While this may be a minor setback, it’s not going to be enough to actually stop them entirely. It’s just a bump in the road, especially when you consider that the people behind Cryptolocker have already managed to collect 4 million dollars in the span of nine months. It’s a dangerous “get rich quick” scheme that’s spawning a malware trend amongst hackers everywhere.

The problem isn’t just affecting Americans, but is a worldwide problem that is only growing. The moral of the story is to take precautions. Once ransomware is on your computer, you’re not going to be able to get it off without either paying the fine or losing the entirety of your files. And we really don’t suggest paying these criminals. Protect yourself.

  • Only open email from reputable sources and never click links that take you to outside pages unless you trust the site and have done some research.
  • Make sure that your firewall is up and running. It’s also advisable to have anti-malware and anti-spyware programs installed on your computer.
  • Do not click on pop ups and be careful about who you let use your computer. Make sure it’s someone you trust and someone who knows the precautions as well as you do.

Internet safety is important for avoiding being a victim of ransomware. Call us today to find out more about anti-virus and anti-spyware software as well as outsourcing your IT. You can reach us at (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today for more information!

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Source: Money.CNN

How Can I Protect My Computer From Viruses and Spyware?

Viruses and spyware are probably the worst things that could infect your computer. Not only will they slow down your machine, but they will cause great security threats to your personal data. So how can you keep your data safe and protect your computer?

Fortunately there are a few easy ways:

  • Install an antivirus program – an antivirus program needs to be kept up to date to do its job well. There are a variety of options available that vary on price and amount of coverage. It is best to do some research about each antivirus program to identify which one is right for you.
  • Be mindful of which emails you open – if you do not recognize the email sender, it may be a scam or include a harmful attachment. If you’re not familiar with the sender of the email, don’t open it. Potentially it can be dangerous and cause a lot of harm to your computer system.
  • Use a popup blocker- pop-ups are smaller browser windows that can appear on any website you are using. While many are advertisements, others can contain malicious software designed to give you a virus. A popup blocker can prevent this type of window from appearing.
  • Keep your software system updated – companies such as Apple and Windows periodically send out security updates. It is important to keep your computer updated to protect it from the latest security threats.
  • Clear your browsing history – when you’re using a public computer, consider clearing the browser history when you are done. This will protect you from leaving any personal information behind.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department in Baltimore!

At Working Nets in Baltimore, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

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Windows 7, Windows XP, & Malware Infections: Is your Computer at risk?

According to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (volume 13), the average number of infected Windows 7 SP1 machines has increased in 2012 by 23% on 32-bit systems and 7% on 64-bit systems, compared to the last quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, the average number of malware-infected Windows XP SP3 PCs has increased by around 10%.

According to the report: “A similar trend of slowly increasing infection rates was observed for Windows Vista between 2007 and 2009, prior to the release of Windows 7.” But why? Well, as more and more people adopt software, security suffers. Early adopters are often well versed in cybersecurity techniques. However, the general populous is not.

“As the Windows 7 install base has grown, new users are likely to possess a lower degree of security awareness than the early adopters and be less aware of safe online practices,” according to the Microsoft security report.

Quick Security Tips from Working Nets

  1. Avoid questionable behavior. If you engage in questionable behaviors; if you don’t have SOME healthy skepticism about clicking on links to who-knows-where; if you download “drivers” or “players” willy-nilly, so that you can see that “new video”, and especially if you don’t have some form of anti-virus software, you’re going to get hurt.
  2. Trying to avoid paying for software by downloading license key generator, also known as Keygen, software to allow you to install a full-version of whatever software you’re talking about is not only illegal, it constitutes “questionable behavior.” Remember what we just talked about. There is plenty of free software, and if the software you want to use isn’t free, and is that important to you, it’s probably worth paying for. It’s usually cheaper than having to have viruses uninstalled, and is certainly cheaper than having financial credentials stolen.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Virus/Spyware Protection Services: Viruses and spyware are time-consuming and costly. The virus protection we offer is top-notch and consistently updated. Our monitoring software ensures your business is safe.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

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Windows 7 Malware Infection Rates Soar