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How to defend yourself against the ‘Two Week’ cyber attack. | Inner Core Therapy
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How to defend yourself against the ‘Two Week’ cyber attack.

Hi all,

Not my usual subject, but with so much of our intellectual property on PCs these days, perhaps we should spend as much time scanning as stretching.  No maybe not then!

The brilliant technical support that is Peter Borcherds has offered the following advice to deal with the latest threat and it is worth a read.  From what he says, most of you won’t have anything to worry about as you do your housekeeping anyway, but….

Peter writes,

“Some of you might have read about a new cyber-threat doing the rounds. This one is a nasty one, but there is no need to panic as long as you follow a few basic steps.  First of all, here is more information about this threat:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27681236 (basic details)

http://www.getsafeonline.org/nca (full details – however this site is slow due to the amount of traffic, so be patient)
So, what can you do to protect yourself?

First of all, get an Apple Mac! Ah, if only we all could afford one…! But on a serious note, 99% of these viruses & malware only affect Windows PCs. So, if you already have an Apple Mac, you can breathe out and relax…and stop reading the rest of this.

If you still have a Windows PC, then please read on:

Step 1: Make sure you have decent Antivirus software installed – eg. Norton, Kaspersky, F-Secure and make sure you keep it updated.

Step 2: NEVER click on links or open attachments in emails you don’t recognise – this includes emails supposedly from your bank or even your friends. If you are not sure about a link, just hover over it with your mouse pointer (don’t click!) and you will see the actual link that is behind the text – make sure the link looks legitimate – ie. www.barclays.co.uk is legitimate, www.barclays.sucker.co.uk or www.barclays/sucker.org definitely is not legitimate. If you receive an email from a friend with an attachment and you are not sure about it, just ring your friend and ask them.

Step 3: ALWAYS back up your files and photos…regularly! Either use an external backup drive or one of the numerous cloud-based services, such as MozyBackup or even DropBox for smaller but important files. The reason for this should be obvious, but one of the threats mentioned, CryptoLocker, encrypts all your files and the ONLY way you can get them back is to pay a ransom…and I stress…the ONLY way – once they are locked there is nothing anyone can do to retrieve those files unless you pay the ransom – so keeping a backup of your important files is essential!

Step 4: Keep your Windows software updated – always install the latest Windows updates – I know it can be a chore, but it is essential to keep your computer secure.

As long as you do all the above, you will be safe – easy to do and something you are hopefully already doing. But most important, don’t click on any links in suspicious emails or open attachments in those emails (especially ones that end in .zip, .bat or .exe) as this is how this malware gets into your computer.

If you have any questions about this, you can contact me either on my mobile, 07931 363457, leave a message on my office phone, 01628 762765 or email me on peter@redsquirrelsupport.com

Kind regards,

Peter Borcherds
Red Squirrel IT Support”

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