When your Digital Life is Held to Ransom

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Ransomware is a type of malware that will lock you out of your files, device, or other resources, and demand a payment to regain access.  Even if you choose to pay up, most often the payment will not result in gaining back access, and your files are permanently lost.

The threat posed by Ransomware is serious, and ongoing.  I last updated this article in September 2015, not long after Cryptolocker became the first widely reported Ransomware threat with thousands of infected computers and resulting in the loss of millions of dollars of data and production.  The problem has only increased in frequency and severity with a range of new variants attacking customers across PC and other platforms.

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Guide to Personal and Small Business Backups – Conceptual Framework

ScreamToo often I see our techs consoling a despondent customer, in tears, having irretrievably lost precious files.  Family photos.  Business records.  Blog articles (!). All gone.  Yet some of those people have been “Backing up”.

A simple definition of “Backing Up” is a process that makes a copy of data onto a second device that can be used to restore that data if your primary copy is deleted or damaged.  A broader definition is any process that reduces your risk of losing data (files) or your system state (windows, settings).  I prefer to use a more global term, Backup System, a collection of backup processes or other elements working together to reduce risk of data loss and related harm. Read more