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Data Security & Ransomware

Symantec-ransomware-imageWhilst making personal changes can be a good thing, you might need to look at your business and see if changes are required there also from an IT perspective.

Virus writers, hackers, spammers are getting more and more ingenious in their methods of getting at your data. Over the course of 2015, we had several people contact us with regards to their data being encrypted after opening a spurious email. Only one of those three had a backup of their data.  It wasn’t nice to have to tell them there was nothing we could do for them from a technical point of view.  Their data was being held to ransom. They had to decide whether they could live without that data or pay for the unlocking key.  It was a tough situation.

So, with that in mind, how safe is your data?

There are plenty of good free anti-virus packages out there, but if your data is critical, we would suggest using a paid service. It’s the added functionality that paid software offers that can make the difference. Our preferred option here at IT Monkey is ESET Endpoint Security.

We use Google Apps for Business here at IT Monkey to manage our email. One of the major benefits of Google Apps is its spam filter. I can’t remember the last time a piece of spam appeared in my inbox. If the spam is not in your inbox, you won’t be tempted to open that email! You can, should you wish, view emails in the spam folder. We would normally suggest doing so if you are expecting an email but have not received it. The Google spam filter is excellent, but sometimes it may block a legitimate email.

We’ve written before about the importance of backups. They are vital! We suggest using a two prong solution. First off, backup to a local hard drive.  It’s quick and easy to access files should something go wrong. We would also suggest using a cloud based backup solution. This means that should something happen your building (floods, fire and so on), your data is stored offsite on a data farm. This data can then be retrieved should the need arise.

Just like getting fit in 2016, we can’t force you to do any of the above, but should you wish to talk to us on how best to secure your data in 2016, please contact us and we would be more than happy to arrange a consultation.

Finally, we would just like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

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