#766 – How to Avoid Ransomware


That's a word that we've been hearing a lot lately, most frequently as high profile victims make the news. It seems like not a day goes by we don't hear about some local government agency, medical facility, or corporation falling victim.

As a result many people go looking for additional protection relating specifically to ransomware. The problem is that's a futile effort. Ransomware is simply malware, no more no less. What makes it "special" is not how you get it, but what it does once your machine is infected.

It's just malware. That, right there, should tell you all you need to know to avoid it.

Also this week:

Remember Classic Shell? It's still around, just with a new owner and name. If you dislike the start menu, it has options for you.

You say you've been locked out of your Hotmail (or any Outlook.com) account? Here are your options.

Some people prefer phone calls over digital communications. No problem. But make sure you're not doing it for some perceived security reason. You might well be wrong.

Have a great week!


Featured Item

How to Avoid Ransomware

How can I prevent this new risk of criminals encrypting files on my hard drive and then demanding a ransom to unlock the data? Is having a router and software firewall enough?

In other words, how do you avoid ransomware?

Let's look at ransomware — software used to hold your data hostage until you pay up — and how best to protect yourself.

Spoiler alert: you already know the answer.

Continue Reading: How to Avoid Ransomware

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This Weeks Other Stories

Open-Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows and Much More

The Start menu in Windows 8 was its most strikingly different feature. While it was tamed down a little in Windows 10, it's still quite startling if you're upgrading from, say, Windows 7.

Unfortunately, that tiled Start screen leaves many with a very negative first impression — a first impression that goes on to color their entire Windows experience.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Open-Shell (formerly Classic Shell) is free software that gives you your favorite Start menu back, as well as restoring and adding functionality to Windows Explorer.

Continue Reading: Open-Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows and Much More

What are my Hotmail and Outlook.com Account Recovery Options?

As longtime readers know, I get a lot of reports of Hotmail account theft and compromise. As Hotmail has transitioned to Outlook.com, so, to, have the questions. Every day there are reports of everything from simple password loss to email being sent “From” your email address to attempts to scam your contacts.

Depending on exactly what's happened, the available remedies may be simple, difficult, or completely impossible: your account and everything in it might be lost forever.

I'll review the various scenarios and direct you to related articles on Ask Leo! that cover the options for each.

Continue Reading: What are my Hotmail and Outlook.com Account Recovery Options?

Why Do People Think a Phone is More Secure than Email?

Why do people think it's more secure to relay data over the phone vs online, even though it's not?

I think there are two reasons.

First, people generally fear what they don't understand. Talking on a phone is easy to comprehend; email (and other digital communication technologies), not so much.

Second, most digital communication leaves a record. Phone conversations are generally ephemeral.

Continue Reading: Why Do People Think a Phone is More Secure than Email?

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Posted: July 23, 2019 in: 2019
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/8168
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