Sunday, 17 November 2013

A bit about CryptoLocker and how to protect yourself from its effects

Such is the newsworthiness of CryptoLocker that even the mainstream news media has, just recently, been publicising the bleak consequences associated with a victim's pc getting infected with the this virus/ransom-ware. For users of Windows-based computers there is genuine cause for concern. However for most - including those who have up-to-date internet security software - it's unlikely that you'd be unfortunate enough to get infected. However there is still a risk. And, although anti-virus software will clean the infection from your computer, the damage that CryptoLocker inflicts to your documents, images and videos is potentially costly. I say that because it's reversible but only after a victim has handed over a big (~£200) chunk of money to the extortionists behind this piece of malware. So prevention and precaution are, by far, the best options.Here are my top tips for protecting yourself from getting into that situation of having to pay a ransom to criminals to get your data 'unlocked':1. Ensure your antivirus/antimalware software is working properly and is up-to-date. 2. Be very cautious about opening any unsolicited emails, especially those with attachments or links.3. Make sure that any data you value is backed up to CD or DVD or to a drive or device that's not left permanently connected to your computer.Additionally I've used and recommend the use of CryptoPrevent which works by applying changes to your system which make it harder for CryptoLocker to establish itself on your pc. There are free and subscription versions with the subscription version auto-updating itself.