Originally Posted by Miss Mercedes
Alright folks, so there's a massive ransomware virus spreading globally at this very moment. So far, the US hasn't been hit that hard but please do not expect that it's not going to get worse. Prepare yourself.
What is it?
In short, it's a virus that once installed, encrypts all the data on your computer. You have the choice of paying ransom for your data back or losing everything. Your chances of getting that data back after paying is slim in the first place (after all, it's a scam), so please try your best to not get infected. Here's what you can do:
1. UPDATE!! If you're on a Mac, you have nothing to worry about. If you're on Windows, make sure you get every update you can.
2. Limit Internet connectivity. Even with the patch installed, you can still get infected. I would advise disconnecting your PC from the Internet (or turning it off) when you're not using it.
3. Don't open anything suspicious. Is your email saying you sent a payment to someone and you don't remember doing something like that? Delete the email, don't open it!
4. Know what you're downloading. Be careful doing things like torrents or downloading email attachments.
5. Backup backup backup! Backup your data. This means that even if you do get hit, you still have the last laugh as you archived everything before you got hit.
Good luck everyone!
I think in general everything you mention is important all the time. I'm on a Mac but I still follow the same protocol you posted for links and emails. We have a separate laptop that is used for downloads/torrents that is not linked to any other computers on the network.
I also do not have file sharing turned on between any of our computers, I use good old sneaker net and a USB stick for file transfers even though our house is wired for gigabit ethernet though a switch.
Backups are also important, I also like to replace my hard drives every couple of years for several reasons, not the least of which is that as time goes on there is a much greater risk of a catastrophic failure that will take everything with it and with todays huge HD sizes you loose a lot. I just put a 2 TB hard drive in my laptop and run 2 TB in my desktop plus an additional 10TB to backup my photos which are on a hard drive that is independent of the boot drive in the desktop. And again same drill with replacing the drives every couple of years.