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Avoiding Ransomware and Backing Up Your Computer

Preventive Maintenance

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#1
joseph456

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Are there up-to-date steps and guidelines to avoid ransomware and the best way to back up your computer to get up and running ASAP?

 

Thanks for your help; you are doing all of us a great service!


Edited by joseph456, 05 February 2015 - 03:14 PM.

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#2
Valinorum

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You may peruse this but I'd suggest getting a help from an expert as different ransomware uses different method to infect.

Regards,
Valinorum
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#3
joseph456

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Thanks. 

 

Are there steps you would recommend to avoid getting ransomware.(other than what is in the article). 

 

For example, Malwarebytes has an Anti Exploit program.  Should that be installed? 


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#4
Aura

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Personally, Ransomware also includes Cryptoware, and because of that I would strongly consider installing and using CryptoPrevent by FoolishIT.

http://www.foolishit.../cryptoprevent/

CryptoPrevent adds Registry keys and local GPOs on your system that will prevent Cryptoware to execute themself and encrypt your files. On top of that, because these Cryptoware are mostly delivered via Exploit Kits, using Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit to block these attacks would also be a very good idea. As for common scareware, ransomware, these are mostly delivered via script exploits on a webpage or in some downloads that triggers automatically. To avoid that, I would either disable Javascript as a whole in your web browser, or install ScriptSafe (for Google Chrome) or NoScript (for Mozilla Firefox) in order to avoid being hit by these malicious scripts.

Despite all these measures, if you don't use your common sense when browsing the web or using a computer, and if you don't have a reliable Antivirus product intalled on your system, all this will be totally useless. In the end it's mostly down to the user, and not the security software :)

Sorry Vali, couldn't resist to post in the thread!
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#5
joseph456

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Thanks for the advice.  Your email provides guidelines that are very helpful.

 

For some of us who may not know better - can you define "common sense?" 

 

For example what can you safely open and where can you safely go?  What links can you open and what links should you not open?  What to click on and what to not (pictures, ecards, etc. from a "known" source (although the email can be hijacked?

 

Also - please advise if the Factory Restore (or System Restore) backup along with data backups are enough or do you need to periodically back up your system and how do it.  (These were referenced in article suggested by Valinorum). 

 

Reason for the paranoia - with the recent ramp up in Ransomware, we could use a good primer.

 

Appreciate your help.  :cheers:


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#6
Aura

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Common sense is exactly what you described :) Browse only known and safe websites, do not click promptly on external or unknown links, do not open emails from people you don't know, of if it's someone you know, ask him first if he sent you the email, only download programs and files from official, trusted sources, etc. Pretty much everything described by Lawrence Abrams in the article below could be called "common sense" when it comes to computer security.

http://www.bleepingc...er-safe-online/

What I suggest you to do is to have a way to reinstall your Windows system: so either a factory image (Factory Restore) or installation media (DVD or USB) is good. Make sure to take at least one clean System Restore point per week (and when you start to have too many restore points, flush the oldest ones). As for the back up, against Cryptoware, I suggest you to buy an external HDD, an offline one, that you'll connect periodically (whenever you need) and that will take in back-up folders and files that you predefined, the ones that are "critical" and couldn't afford to lose. That's how I would go about it.
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#7
joseph456

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Invaluable Advice!  I hope that this will be an excellent primer for everyone.

 

Ok - so is the original Factory Restore that I made when I got the computer (2/14) good enough or do I need further system backups since they take about 16GB or a complete USB (for me).  IF so would you use the Grandfather/Father/Son method rotating your backups.  That would mean rotating through 3 - 16 GB USBs

 

Regarding other backups - I have external HDDs.  So would you just copy/paste folders that you would not want to use or is there an easier way?  Have not figured out how to stop copying over the same folders and just to copy those folders/files where there is something new.  I know a lot of this is probably elementary but there are a lot of us who are not as knowledgeable :( and appreciate the advice.

 

Thanks!


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#8
Aura

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You'll be just fine with the Factory Restore back-up you made. This "back-up" is used to reset your system to its factory settings, which means that Windows will be reinstalled, along with all the software that was present on it when you bought the laptop/computer.

And yes, copy/pasting the folders and fildes you want to keep is just fine. If these are files and folders that barely change or that you pretty much never touch, you'll only need to back them up once, or when you change them. However, if these are files you work with everyday or often, you'll want to make sure that the newest version is backed up on one of your external HDDs. You can do that via the Windows in-built back-up feature, or use a back-up program.
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