In September of 2013, CryptoLocker – a ransomware Trojan virus that holds your computer files for ransom – was introduced. If you don’t pay the ransom, your files are gone forever. After the virus gets into your computer (via an email attachment – so don’t open any email you don’t recognize), it works its way through all of your files, external drives, and whatever is at work on your computer. It then encrypts them all. Owners are given 72 hours to pay, on average, $300 for a decryption key to unlock their own files and a frightening countdown clock pops up on the screen to notify you of the time ticking away.
According to Kasperky Lab, the top three sources of spam by country are China (23.1%), United States (16.8%), and South Korea (12.6%). In June of 2013, 70.70% of all emails contained spam. With nearly three-quarters of all emails containing spam, it is no wonder that close to 40% of all computers are infected with some sort of virus. How do consumers protect themselves from cyber-attacks?
- Get anti-virus software for all of your computers (including your smartphone).
- Stay informed. Cyber criminals come up with various schemes to get the user to click the link or attachment which contains the virus – including white text and the bottom of an email or fake auto-reply emails that seem legit.
The latest virus trend that is gaining speed is malware for Android smartphones and tablets. F-secure reports that 259 new mobile threats were detected in the third quarter of 2013 – 252 of those were Android threats! Given the amount of mobile users, it comes as no surprise that cyber criminals have started targeting our mobile devices. Thankfully, there are products out there to protect your smartphones and tablets as well.
Business owners and individuals need to have a defense against cyber-attacks.
- What is the current state of your computer security systems?
- Do you need new or more software?
- Are you staying on top of the latest computer/mobile threats or do you require help because you don’t have the time?
- Is your information (client/company data, personal files/pictures) backed up in case of loss?
If you are looking for outside IT help, keep in mind the organization you choose to support your computer network should be large enough to provide backup support and fast response times, and small enough to provide personal service. If you need any assistance with virus protection or virus removal, CTI Technology can certainly be of service to you.