I bought my new computer through a private dealer this time. He transferred everything from my old laptop to my new one and added some extra protection, since I was concerned about the security and safety of my documents. He warned me about changing passwords often, and not to download anything from people I didn’t know – things we’ve had drummed into us for decades now.
And then he added one reminder I hadn’t heard before. “Be careful of what you click on, not all bad things come looking like an e-mail from someone you might know,” he gravely admonished.
What did that mean?
Suppose you’re browsing through Facebook and a cute video pops up alongside, showing a puppy and kitten sleeping together, or a mama duck herding her babies across the street while big trucks wait, or a pair of dancers in their 70s grooving along to some uptown music. Click on one of those and you might be safe – or you might be sorry. One of those adorable images could be the door through which Ransomware walks. And since YOU clicked the lock, you invited it in!
There is no protection if you open the door. Our virus protection may be kept up to date, and may be the latest and greatest, and will keep things out if you keep the door locked. BUT – if you click on malware, virus protection can’t help you. You opened the door and welcomed it in. Never, ever, go to unauthorized sites, or browse for fun while you’re working. You can bring down a company that way.
Most businesses know to keep multiple backups for days or even weeks back. Some malware is so stealthy that it can hide for a while and then make its presence known. While it was hiding, it was corrupting backups as they were made. Cyber criminals cause millions of dollars in damage and ransoms, and cause thousands and thousands of hours to repair damages – IF they can be repaired.
Be vary careful about creating openings in your computer for cyber criminals to walk through. Do all the right things. Use good passwords that are changed frequently. Install good virus protection. And use great care when clicking to invite in a stranger.