Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How to smackdown ransomware forever.

If your local ATM display showed that it had a virus would you be worried about your bank balance? I'd assume the answer is 'of course not'. As you'd know the bank would be keeping it safe.

If the worry of a ransomware attack on your computer concerns you, then it's possible you may want to rethink the way you manage your files. Cloud based storage has existed in various guises for many years now. The first service I used was Dropbox. Google are now (in my opinion) market leaders in this respect, with Microsoft a close second. iCloud is sadly too dependant on Apple powered devices to be taken seriously, where as the other solutions are happy on a number of platforms; including Apple.

If you still use 'my documents' or your home folder on your computer to store your most important documents, or worse still, your desktop, then ransomware will still most likely be a worry. This will be more true if you don't keep regular backups of your data. However, One drive and Google Drive both have desktop clients, for PC and for Mac, which will allow you to synchronise your data with their cloud service.

I ran a session last month for a school trying to integrate better with Google Drive (their school has a suite of chromebooks) and I've done similar work for staff in a neighbouring school. Helping them rely less on USB drives, and more on cloud based solutions. It surprised me how many people didn't already use this for their backups.

The ATM is pretty much a 'terminal' for a bank, although it might be networked, it's nothing more than a slave computer. Your laptop, or desktop should operate in a similar manner. Whilst its ok to keep sensitive data on your computer, it should at the very least be backed up, but for ease of use, having it synchronised with Google Drive, or One drive will take ALL of the worry of ransomware away from you.

If your machine becomes infected, you'll know that you can either simply reinstall your operating system (windows or Mac OS) and carry on as normal. In the interim period, all of your files can be accessed via another machine. Tablet, mobile, laptop or desktop with internet access.

Google Drive software has just been updated to a 'backup and sync' program, which is a far more descriptive title for what it actually does. Not only does the app give you a google folder to place important items. to save you the hassle of changing the way you work, it also allows you to sync your home or my documents folder AND... your desktop. So if someone asks you where X is if you've ever replied.... 'Ah it's on my desktop on my home computer', so long as you have your mobile, you'll be able to access that file..... EVEN if in the meantime, your home computer is infected with ransomware!

If you need any help setting up a worry free workstation.

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Google Drive for Desktop.