Don’t relax your e-mail habits this holiday season, there’s a new virus in town.

The Crypto Locker virus is a new strand of virus going around this season. No, you won’t have flu like symptoms, but you may find yourself locked out of your own computer.

Wake up computer users! If you’ve seen too many warnings about attachments in e-mails to pay attention anymore, don’t let your eyes wonder from this important message. We all need a little reminder of the most basic safe e-mail handling techniques sometimes.

It’s not a gift, it’s an infection. The Crypto Locker e-mails come in a variety of forms. Some are disguised as UPS or FedEx messages and others are just random e-mails with a note and a JPEG, PDF, or Microsoft Office file attachment. Remember, if you receive an e-mail from someone you don’t know and you see attachments, don’t open it at all! The safest course of action is to delete the e-mail or notify a qualified technician to review the message and double check your computer for invasions.

Crypto Locker can hold your files ransom. This nasty virus comes with a side order of trouble, a ransomware hostage situation. Ransomware is a tiny software program created to block your access to a computer system or specific targets until a set action is completed. In this case, attackers are asking for a ransom fee to be paid. Yep! Hackers not only holding your own files captive but, they want you to pay to get them back! The only problem, if you do pay electronically with an online account, then your account is vulnerable too.

Back-up for a happy holiday. At work and at home, be sure to back-up your files daily to buffer the impacts of an infection. The Crypto Locker virus, and many other malicious programs, are hot on the Internet through the holiday season. But, infections don’t have to be devastating. Keep current back-ups of your information handy at all times so you can restore your work even if you are hit with an infection.

Back to basics. This may seem like a message for beginning computer users, but it’s really a good reminder for everyone. You would be surprised at the number of companies that don’t run backups more than a few times a week and have not checked their validity since last December. The frequency and quality of your back-ups truly determines their usefulness in an emergency.

Need HELP with back-ups or viruses? Give us a call so you can rest at ease this holiday season knowing
you’re safe.

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