We’ve covered this before, but it bears continues mentioning. Ransomware is a real and serious threat these days. No, someone is not gonna come into your home and kidnap you and hold you for ransom. But they will come into your computer and wreak havoc on your files.
More and ore folks keep their life history (documents, photos, videos, PDF files) on their computer. They don’t back up the files off site (i.e. on an external drive, DVD, jump drive or cloud) putting them at risk to lose everything or pay to theoretically get it back. But at that point, my thinking is if you fell for the ploy that got you in trouble in the first place, you will probably do it again. So the risk remains.
External hard drives are extremely inexpensive these days. For about 100 bucks, you can get 2-3 TB of capacity. That’s cheaper and much more flexible than buying DVDs and burning them yourself. And unless you are someone like me who shoots a lot of photos and makes lots of videos, you probably will not need to get a new drive each year.
Plus there is always cloud storage. Personally, I use Google products mainly because they give me the best value, and most flexibility. Google Drive is a great place to store NON-SENSITIVE documents. The great part is no matter whether it’s a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, you can access it from anywhere and share it when you want.
Google Photos is the real gem. Most folks have a ton of photos of family, vacations, FAMILY vacations, or other sentimental files they want to keep. Storing them externally is fine, but whenever you want to find one or share one, you have to go through all your external devices just to share a DIGITAL copy with someone who has no intention of printing it. With Google Photos, you can get unlimited storage for your photos if you allow Google to compress them a little. Keep in mind compression does not mean compressing the actual dimensions of the file, but it compresses the data in the file. So far I think I have over 10,000 images dating back to 1998 stored there, and when I share them via email or show them on my mobile device, no one notices that they have been compressed.
But Google Photos and Drive are subject for a later post. Just keep in mind you really need to start thinking about protecting yourself from ransomware attacks at home.
Any questions or comments or stories of your own experiences with ransomware, just scroll down and drop them in the comments box.