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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USB goes Full Circle with USB-C

USB-CUniversal Serial Bus (USB) was developed in the late 90s to replace a mess of slow PC connections with a high speed, one size fits all plug and data transfer protocol.  All newish devices had the plug, it was good, and there was no real decision or gotchas to look out for when buying new devices.

A decade or two later, things are again a mess.  Incremental changes to USB have offered progressive technical improvements, but at the cost of modified plugs and sometimes questionable backwards compatibility.  Read more

How to Choose Surge Protection

Lightning2Every year, as Christmas approaches, we see an influx of PCs, modems, and other equipment killed by power surges.  It is that time of year again, so to head off some of the issues, I thought a timely reminder in order.

When a burst of energy is dumped into the grid, a surge results and the voltage at your power point will jump up above the normal 240V.  When the voltage moves above the level that your equipment is designed to handle, damage results.  Read more

Exploring Windows 10

I am pleased to report Windows 10 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!

Windows10_boxedCustomers tell us that Windows 10 feels natural and intuitive on desktops, notebooks, and tablets.  Many new features and updates have been mentioned as “Quality of Life” improvements, making it easier to get things done and reducing frustration.  Ideas implemented in Windows 8 that didn’t work have been transformed or reverted.  The core stability, speed, and compatibility of the operating system is exceptional.  Given the relatively few issues reported, and substantial improvements, Windows 10 is the most compelling OS upgrade since XP. Read more