Ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid, has arrived to Mac OS X. Should you be concerned about this? If you’re downloading Torrent files and surfing nefarious places then definitely. If you’re reading from major news papers webpages, then you’re
fine… wait a minute… they were hacked as well!
Ok, so you can’t trust major websites anymore and you’re worried that someday you’ll be sent an email asking you to pay in BitCoins (1 BitCoin = $400) in order to unlock all of your data that some hacker has encrypted. If you don’t pay, you lose your data. So how do you protect yourself?
Firefox, Chrome and Safari have them. Install Adblock, Adblock Plus, Ghostery, and/or other ad blockers.
TURN OFF ADOBE FLASH AND OTHER WEB BROWSER AD ONS
Adobe Flash is no longer needed these days to watch videos. Uninstalling Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Java will secure you more. You may need some of these plugins so it’s a case by case thing.
Remove passwords from the address book if you keep them in there. If you put them in your Notes make sure you password protect them. If they’re in a word document, move them out to 1Password. In fact, just move everything out to 1Password. Make sure your password for 1Password isn’t used ANYWHERE ELSE but 1Password.
Backups could save you.
The backups rule is 3-2-1.
• At least three copies,
• In two different formats,
• with one of those copies off-site.
So for instance I have a Time Machine backup to 1 drive, a Carbon Copy Cloner backup to another drive, and an offsite backup using Crashplan. Time Machine backs up every hour (you can set it to backup at whatever interval you want with extra software). These are incremental backups so you can retrieve a file from your desktop from 3 months ago should you need to do this. Carbon Copy Cloner backs up the entire drive. This kind of backup is more of an exact backup and should be set to run weekly (or nightly, or on multiple sets).
God forbid if you were to get hacked by ransomware you could ignore their BitCoin request and recover your data from one of your backups. However, if you’re not quick enough, the backup software may recopy all of your data only encrypted. So be careful out here.