Microsoft Don’t Make Phone Calls!

It’s 6:35pm on a normal weekday evening on the Kapiti Coast, dinner’s almost ready to serve and…….the phone rings. You pick it up and there doesn’t appear to be anyone on the other end. Suddenly after about 5 seconds a foreign voice comes on the line and quickly introduces themselves as “Microsoft Support”. They tell you that they’ve detected a problem on your computer and they want to connect to it and remedy the issue.

Does this all sound familiar – it should, because almost all of us will have encountered this targeted scam in the past few months – sometimes repeatedly! Continue reading

Newsletter for May 2017

With the recent Ransomware Cyber Attack around the world, it is a timely reminder to each of us to ensure that the computer we are using has the latest updates and that we also regularly back up each device.  The articles below you may find informative and helpful.  However, if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to ask a Tutor at one of our classes or a How Do I…? Workshop.

What is a computer virus? (Microsoft.com)

Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation.

What do computer viruses do? Continue reading

You Don’t WannaCry… Do You?

You’d have to be living in a cocoon to have missed the reports in the mainstream media this week about the WannaCry Worm which has infected vulnerable computers around the world. WannaCry is transmitted when people open infected email attachments and can spread itself quickly within organisations over their internal computer networks. Home PCs and laptops are just as vulnerable!

What is WannaCry?

It’s a computer worm categorised as ransomware! When a PC (or laptop) is infected by WannaCry or any of its variants, important files are encrypted (scrambled) and can no longer be read or used. The primary target is your documents and pictures.

Once infected, you have to pay a ransom to gain access to your documents and pictures.

How do I recover from a WannaCry Infection?

If you want to recover (decrypt) your documents and pictures, you have to pay $US300 in Bitcoins to some ratbag. If you take more than 3 days, they double the charge to $US600 and after 6 days, they simply walk away leaving your PC information completely inaccessible.

If you don’t want to pay the money, you better have a (recent) backup of your documents, pictures, music and videos. You’ll likely need to reset your PC (reinstall Windows!) to remove the infection and then restore your documents, pictures, music and videos from the backup.

If you want to avoid having to choose a recovery method then read on… Continue reading