Sunday, February 21, 2016

I Was Hacked!

Yes, I was the unlucky recipient of one of those malware attacks they've been talking about on the news lately. I woke up one day last week to a very sassy message from some hackers telling me that my files had been encrypted, and I'd better not try to de-encrypt them. They then offered to let me get them back by paying their ransom in bitcoins, which is the currency of jerks, apparently.

Now if you've ever read my blog, you can probably guess that I'm not the type to reward someone for bad behavior, so no, I wasn't going to send them their stupid bitcoins. Instead, I turned the computer off and went to the Hitman Pro website using my laptop, where I downloaded a program that could help remove this kind of thing.

I highly recommend Hitman Pro, along with Avira and Spyhunter. Those three, along with some manual deleting of files on my part, got the malware off of the computer. However, the files on it were toast.

Luckily, none of the files on that particular computer were that important, so I just deleted them. The hackers probably did me a favor by forcing me to clean up the files on it, to be honest.

So I lost a bunch of random stuff, then I went right over to my work laptop and backed up all of the important files that I have and actually need. That's the most important lesson from this...Back up your files. Seriously, do it. Lots of things can happen to your computer, even if viruses aren't involved. And make a set of restore discs, not a restore point on the computer, because the malware erases those too!

The second lesson is to go to the Hitman Pro website and download the Hitman Pro Alert encryption blocker for free. If someone tries to get your computer it will prevent the encryption from happening in the first place.

The third lesson (courtesy of my computer-literate son) is to use a browser that has an ad blocker program like Google Chrome. Internet Explorer allows more ads through, and in ads there are viruses and spyware. And stop doing those stupid "What Disney Princess Are You" quizzes, they're just there to lure you in to an ad-infested website that puts who knows what on your computer.


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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