How to avoid a Ransomware attack!

Chances are you know someone, or some company, that has been a victim of a ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or data until a sum of money is paid.  If you haven’t been hit by ransomware personally, you’re very lucky. Here are some proactive steps to protect your computers and files. If you do get infected with ransomware, unless you’ve got back-ups, you’re left with either paying or losing your locked up files forever.

  1. Back up your files regularly and keep a recent backup off-site.

The only backup you’ll ever regret is one you left for another day. The single biggest thing that you against ransomware is having a regularly updated backup.

  1. Be very cautious about opening unsolicited attachments.

Most Windows ransomware is embedded in documents spread as email attachments.

  1. Don’t give yourself more login power than needed.

Don’t stay logged in as an administrator any longer than necessary. Avoid browsing, opening documents or other regular work activities while working as administrator.

  1. Update your system.

When you apply security patches, you give the cyber criminals less possibilities of compromising your system with ransomware.

  1. Use a trustworthy security suite.

It is always good to have both anti-malware software and a software firewall to help you identify threats or suspicious behavior.

  1. Segment the company network.

Isolate functional zones with a firewall, e.g., the client and server networks, so systems and services can only be accessed if really needed.

  1. Disconnect from Wi-Fi or unplug from the network immediately.

If you open a file that you suspect may be ransomware, but you have not yet seen the typical ransomware screen, if you move extremely fast you might be able to stop the communication with the server before your files are completely encrypted.

  1. Use System Restore to get back to a known-clean state.

If you have System Restore enabled on your Windows machine, you might be able to take your system back to a known-clean state.

Google Chrome Scam

Tech support scams are an everyday thing nowadays, and a new one is on the wild which uses an exploit in the Google Chrome browser to slow down the user machine to a level it makes it almost inoperative, then the scammers will present the affected users an offer of ‘tech support’ to “fix” the problem. The exploit is a long-term bug in Google Chrome which permits a huge amount of URLs to be inserted into the browser history, swamping the victim’s PC down. The scam functions via a fake website which notifies that your ‘system has been infected’ while overloading the user computer, and then presents a phone number for the user to call, which of course is operated by the scammers who will afterwards try to defraud you in one way or another for the ‘fix’.

All you need to do to resolve the problem is shut down Google Chrome by opening Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete together) and terminating the browser process (clicking on End Task after the Google Chrome process has been selected). If the computer is completely unresponsive, you will have to hard reset the computer by holding the power button for more than 5 seconds.

This scam has been spotted in the wild, and has already been reported to Google, so an update to address this bug should be on the way. In the meantime, in case this happens to you please never call a “support” number that magically appears on your computer screen or click on anything with the following keywords “update”, “fix”, “clean”, “speed-up”, “boost”, etc. By doing so you could really infest your computer or even worse, allow someone to login remotely into your computer and do all kind of nasty things with your data. Never allow an unknown person to login remotely into your computer, instead contact us and we will gladly help you. Don’t put your data at risk, think smart.

Need a router? Here’s what to look for!

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With so many connected products, smartphones, smart TV’s, and many other mobile devices, it is more important than ever to have in your home or business a wireless router that can handle the constantly increasing demand for Wi-Fi connectivity. Coverage area, the number of clients, and the types of devices that are going to be connecting to the router.

Some routers can only communicate over a single radio band, 2.4GHz frequency, single band models are usually the least expensive ones. These devices are perfectly adequate for things like web surfing and connecting to social media services.

For more demanding tasks like video streaming or connecting to online gaming services a dual band router will deliver a more desirable performance. Dual band routers use the traditional band and also the 5GHz band which is typically not as crowded, it offers more throughput and with minimal signal interference it is ideal for tasks that demand more bandwidth.

For even more demanding environments there are tri-band routers. They are much more expensive but capable of handling households or businesses that experience heavy network traffic via lots of video streaming, file transfers, and online gaming.

When choosing a new router it is wise to avoid devices that use older protocols and go with the most widely used Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11n or with the newest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11ac, which brings several improvements over previous protocols. The biggest downside of the newer 802.11ac routers is price but if cost is not an issue getting a router with the newest protocol will provide a solid performance and it will be future proof.

Last but not least, don’t get a router with less than four Gigabit Ethernet ports. At least one USB port makes it easy to plug in a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network. Get a router with removable antennas if you need to extend your wireless range, which you will be able to accomplish with high-gain antennas. If what you need is control over your router, make sure your new router has parental controls, Quality of Service options and a guest-network feature.

Fast throughput speeds, good range, easy set up and manageability, a solid feature set, and, of course, fair pricing is what make a top router, choose wisely!

How to protect your digital data from natural disasters!

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In an emergency situation it might be hard to decide which data is more important and worth saving, therefore it’s always good to be prepared for the worst. Prioritize what is considered as “high importance data” first, e.g family photos, tax and legal documents, work projects, school assignments, creative work, or maybe even an important music collection.
Keep Important Data On The Cloud
One very good strategy is to upload your data to cloud-based services, that way you will have a copy of all your data on a remote secured location. However, it’s not recommended to upload sensitive data like tax forms with social security numbers to the cloud without the data being encrypted prior to being uploaded. Google Drive, icloud, and Dropbox are today’s best free cloud services. Depending on how much data you need to backup and the value of the data it would be better to pay for it. Carbonite is an excellent automatic cloud backup solution, it offers different price plans and all their server facilities are in the United States.
Use External Hard Drives
If uploading sensitive data (even if it’s encrypted) to the cloud is not an option, external hard drives are excellent solutions. External hard drives offer great portability and big capacities for a good price. If you think you might have to deal with flooded areas, consider getting a few dry bags and use them to store the most important electronic devices like cellphones, external hard drives, etc. Dry blags will float and keep electronic devices dry during a short time underwater.

Simple ways to improve your technology at home!

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It’s a little past the halfway point this year and NuAge PC wants to give our customers some simple ways to improve your technology at home for the remainder of 2016!

For Computers:

  • First make sure to have an ACTIVE antivirus solution because sometimes our customers are paying for licenses and then it expires and is never renewed.
  • Make sure antivirus solution is also updated to the latest version and virus database is updated as well.
  • Also make sure your Operating System is updated and upgraded to the latest version if possible and all the software on your computer is up to date (Adobe, Java, Office, Google Chrome, Firefox,etc) to patch as many vulnerabilities as possible on your system

For Security Cameras:

  • Take a look at your connectors for corrosion. Be sure to replace any connectors that show signs of corrosion, because it can cause your equipment to short out.
  • Make sure the enclosures on your security cameras have no water, condensation or dirt in them.
  • In order for security cameras to work their best they must have clear views at all time. Make sure to keep all trees, bushes, and vines perfectly trimmed. There’s nothing worse than having an issue on your property and when you look up the footage, all that’s there is a tree branch blocking the camera.

For Televisions:

  • Turn off the TV when no one is around, this will ease the strain on the TV’s LCD screen as well as lower the electric bill.
  • Make sure your TV is in a well ventilated position, if a TV has no ventilation this leads to the inside of the TV corroding and overheating.

For Tablets:

  • Delete your unnecessary apps, they not only drain your battery but they also slow your tablet down!
  • Clean your tablet’s cache, wiping this folder clean will help improve your tablet’s speed and performance.

WiFi Boosters and Extenders worth it?

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WiFi Boosters (Extenders and Repeaters)
The Netgear WiFi boosters are a great and affordable way to extend your WiFi signats to dead zones in your house. It works by plugging the device to the wall, capturing your main WiFi signal and “repeating” such signal to the dead spots throughout your home. Even though the Netgear WiFi booster solution is an affordable one, it’s not necessarily the best one. If what you’re looking for is performance and speed to be delivered to those elusive dead spots in your home we recommend to go for an AP (Access Point). Installing an AP is the best solution for extending your WiFi signal with minimal loss in performance. It also features more functionality than a WiFi booster because typically AP’s are also Network Routers. With that being said they have better internal hardware and better range boosting capabilities than your typical wall outlet repeater and provide more reliability in the long run.