Think twice Before Upgrading to Windows 10
Everyone loves a good upgrade... except when you lose your privacy, your internet download bandwidth as well as some of your much loved traditional Windows applications.
Do not get me wrong, I am loving the new Windows 10 but there is a lot to consider for a business user and even more to change to secure YOUR privacy and data download bandwidth from your ISP.
Please read and review below weblinks and their containing information carefully. Then make the necessary changes to protect yourself and your privacy.
Windows 10 is stealing your network bandwidth
Windows 10: Here are the privacy issues you should know about
Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It
Microsoft can disclose your data when it feels like it
We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.
➤ Privacy Statement | Services Agreement [Microsoft] h/t to EDRI for flagging up a number of these issues.
CryptoLocker Ransomware Information
Before digging into to much information and trying to figure out how to protect yourself, simply cover yourselves. Please check and confirm your backups are operating, tested and working.
Please note the email of issue seems to be coming from Australia Post as a zip file. PLEASE do not open. It is the zip file attachment that is causing the problem.
If you have any questions regarding your mandatory End of Day Backups that are required to be run each transacting day, please contact one of the GeeDee Software Support Team today.
Remember, End of Day Backups are an Auditory Requirement and must be performed each day to print your Daily Transactions Report.
Windows Previous Versions will save files from Ransonware...
Use Windows Previous Versions to Go Back in Time and Save Your Files from Ransomware
Previous Versions is an incredibly useful feature built into Windows 7 & 10, which allows the OS to record and view earlier versions of files. Here’s a detailed guide to using this excellent feature.
This feature goes beyond the functionality of the Recycle Bin as it allows you to:
- Recover files you may have permanently deleted.
- View or restore a version of a file which you have saved over.
- Allow you to compare current and/or previous versions of a file side by side.
With a little bit of dedicated hard drive space, an automation script and scheduled task, you can leverage this feature to guard against inadvertent file deletions and overwrites which traditional backups may not adequately cover.
Previous versions of files are recorded as part of a System Restore Point. So whenever a restore point is created, if you have the option set to capture previous versions of files, this data will be recorded at that time. It is important to note that this function is smart enough to know that only changes to documents should be recorded. For example, if you have not updated a document in 3 months, a new snapshot is not captured each time a restore point is created.
Setting Up and Configuring Previous Versions Windows 7
To view or change your current settings, open the System item in the Control Panel and click the System Protection item. If you get a UAC prompt, select the option to continue.
Under the System Protection tab, select the drive containing the files you want to monitor for previous changes and click the Configure button.
Under the Restore Settings section, make sure you have one of the options which includes previous files selected.
Under the Disk Space Usage, set the amount of space you want to allow for storing previous versions of files. The more space you allow here, the farther you can “go back” to a previous copy of a file. However, by dedicating space for this feature, you lose the respective amount of storage for new files so be sure to take this into consideration when making this setting.
Apply your settings and System Restore will start using them immediately.
How to Use Windows 8's New File History Backup (aka Time Machine for Windows)
It wasn't one of the more publicized features, but Windows 8 actually comes with a brand-new backup feature called File History, that works similar to Apple's Time Machine: It automatically backs up files in the background and lets you restore them from a simple, time-based interface.
The Difference Between File History and Windows Backup
Windows Backup still exists in Windows 8, it's just been renamed to "Windows 7 File Recovery." So, if you want to back up your files, you have the choice of which system you want to use.
So, a little more effort in choice and setting up but you can be selective on what is backed up and where to...
Previous Versions (File History), again has its own Tab in Properties
See above information "Setting Up and Configuring Previous Versions Windows 7" for setting up.
Note, all of these features are a great safety net in case of Ransonware issues, with the trade off only being a little extra Hard Disk (HDD) space being consumed. Not that bad of a deal considering how large HDD's are getting today!
Cryptolocker Ransomware: What You Need To Know
Just be vigilant of any suspicious emails or better yet, have your IT computer person block and prevent any .ZIP or .EXE files being received via email. (This can usually be done using an anti-spam system). Ransonware is not a virus and is malware in the form of a script that is accidentally launched by a user.
Repeat, do not attempt to view, download or click on any .EXE or .ZIP files from email. Also remember to inspect the Sender's email address(2) and to hover over any web hyperlinks(1) in an email to inspect before actually clicking on the link.
Ensure your staff are educated in good computing practices and how to spot threats.
Spread through email attachments and weblinks, ransomware has been seen targeting companies through phishing attacks. Cryptolocker will encrypt users’ files using asymmetric encryption, which requires both a public and private key. The public key is used to encrypt and verify data, while private key is used for decryption, each the inverse of the other.
Below is an image from Microsoft depicting the process of asymmetric encryption.
The bad news is decryption is impossible. Infected users also have a time limit to send the payment. If this time elapses, the private key is destroyed, and your files may be lost forever.
Files targeted are those commonly found on most PC's today; a list of file extensions for targeted files include: 3fr, accdb, ai, arw, bay, cdr, cer, cr2, crt, crw, dbf, dcr, der, dng, doc, docm, docx, dwg, dxf, dxg, eps, erf, indd, jpe, jpg, kdc, mdb, mdf, mef, mrw, nef, nrw, odb, odm, odp, ods, odt, orf, p12, p7b, p7c, pdd, pef, pem, pfx, ppt, pptm, pptx, psd, pst, ptx, r3d, raf, raw, rtf, rw2, rwl, srf, srw, wb2, wpd, wps, xlk, xls, xlsb, xlsm, xlsx
In typical senarios, it is possible to recover previous versions of the encrypted files using System Restore or other recovery software used to obtain “shadow copies” of files.
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