Hello, testing my speech transcriber. Wow. Fantastic! Ransomware is a huge problem nowadays, period. Particularly in Northwest Arkansas, period. Communities like Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Lowell, Pea Ridge, Centerton, Gravette, and many other towns in Northwest Arkansas have businesses which have been victimized by ransomware, period. Thank you for watching! Thank you for watching. Bye. What can a business owner do about it? Well, comma, there are many things he can do, period. For one, be common or use common sense when it comes to clicking links in your email. Bad guys love to send stuff to you in your email that looks appealing or that looks worrying. For example, they may say that you have a payment which is bounced. Payment that you’re not familiar with. Obviously, you want to know more, so you click the link. Voila! You’ve just gone to a hostile site which is installing ugliness on your system.

The first thing you need to do is to have a reliable antivirus-anti-malware program running on your Windows system. I recommend Bitdefender. I’ve been doing business with Bitdefender for several years and they just work. They’re also very inobtrusive and they’re well worth what they cost. And also, I’ve never had any of my client systems get ransomware since I’ve been using Bitdefender.

By the way, I didn’t mean to leave communities like Siloam Springs or Gentry out when I was talking about Benton County Town. Rogers is also a town which gets ransomware from time to time. We all need to be very careful when we’re clicking on links or when we’re just surfing the web or when we’re just reading our emails. By all means, make sure before you click on a link in your email that it’s coming from someone you know and recognize. It’s a good idea to give them a call and confirm that they actually sent you the link, because Spoofing others is a technique that criminals on the web like to use in order to fool you and gets you to click on something to install buggerware.

Your biggest defense against criminals is off-site backup. Backing up locally is a great idea, and I encourage you to do it. However, if you do get ransomware, it can delete and encrypt any of your files that it can access, which means any local backups. They can’t get to your off-site files, however. That’s why you must be backing up off-site. Microsoft offers OneDrive to do this, but I do not recommend it. I’ve seen OneDrive decide to take matters into its own hands and render your data inaccessible. So, use OneDrive if you have no choice. Otherwise, get yourself a good offline backup. There are many companies out there that will provide you with free off-site backup. I actually pay for a service. Thank you. Thanks for watching. The service I pay for is CrashPlan. The reason I love them is because they do not limit your data. They also charge a very reasonable per month fee. I personally have five terabytes of files backed up in the cloud, which I can get to any time. Crash Plan is excellent. They have my unpaid endorsement. So whether it’s CrashPlan or OneDrive or anyone else that you choose, make sure that the files that you want to save forever are backed up off-site. Now, let’s say you’ve been backing up off-site and you have ransomware. All you have to do is click on this link and pay this guy a bitcoin and you can get it all back. Do not do that!

Why not? You might ask. Why not you might ask. Just give the man his money and get my files back. Well, if you give the man his money, you probably won’t get your files back. You will just have lost your money. These people are not honest, and they have no integrity whatsoever. So, don’t deal with them. If your system is locked up by malware, you need to reinstall Windows, and tell it to wipe out everything on your drive and start over. Now, once you have Windows reinstalled, install your app or access your app through the web, which allows you access to your backed up files and restore them. Put those files back on your hard drive. You will also have to reinstall any software which you had custom installed prior to the nastiness outbreak. Now that you have everything back, you need to stop and think about what just happened and why. You let them in somehow. How did you do that? Perhaps it was because you’re not using any sort of antivirus or anti-malware. Windows has Defender, but it does not work well at all. I do not recommend it. Go out and get yourself a good antivirus program. Bitdefender is the one that I recommend. That will do a lot in blocking future ransomware. The second thing is, did you

Another thing you might consider is getting away from Windows altogether. If you have a Chromebook, then malware can’t affect you very badly because your files are already backed up online. Another advantage of the Chromebook is that it is Linux-based. If you really want to become secure, download a Linux operating system and try it on your desktop. It will either install on a CD-ROM and allow you to take a test drive, or it will install alongside Windows, giving you an option to boot either into Windows or into Linux. Linux is immune from all of that nastiness that affects Windows. There is Linux malware, but it’s extremely rare, and the likelihood of you getting it is extremely low. The numbers are in your favor if you can just get away from the Windows operating system. The Apple operating system is also much more resistant to attack than Windows. It too is based on Unix, which is almost like Linux, period. They’re practically the same thing, the only difference is licensing.