Encrytion viruses such as Cryptolocker, Cryptowall and Teslacrypt silently encrypt your files (photos, documents, everything) so you can’t open them without paying around £400 to the bad guys for the decryption password. Antivirus might not protect you. The new viruses also encrypt online storage and backup, so having an online backup or online storage might not help you. What you need is a memory stick or an external hard disk that you can connect whenever you want to do a backup and disconnect when the back is done.
Please, if you value those photos and files, make sure you have a proper backup that you control (ie more than one copy, not online). If you want me to help you set it up, including recommending any memory stick or hard disk you need, then please get in touch.
A regular client was bought a new laptop and asked me to visit because he couldn’t figure out Windows 8.1. I went round to visit to help him, give a little tuition, and set things up for him including:
- Uninstalled the free trial of McAfee LiveSafe – if your trial runs out and you don’t pay up then you won’t have full antivirus protection
- Set up free antivirus
- Installed my recommended additional security software, that prevents unwanted software from being installed – the client already has an annual licence for this for less than £20 per year which allows installation on up to three PCs. This is much better value in my opinion than paying for McAfee or Norton.
- Installed his printer software – he couldn’t find the CD that came with the printer, so I downloaded the correct version and installed it for him
Nothing particularly exciting, but it was good to deal with such a range of work for one client.
- Transfer files from an old Windows XP desktop computer to a newer Windows 7 desktop computer.
- Troubleshoot wireless internet problems. It’s a long house and the WiFi signal won’t reach all the way, so I have recommended a device which will allow wireless internet throughout the house. I will go back to install it when it arrives from the supplier.
- Set up Norton 360 on a new Windows 8 laptop. Although Windows 8 includes Microsoft’s own free antivirus software, PC World still sold my client Norton 360 (for £60 I think). I don’t recommend Norton (or McAfee) on any version of Windows, but since the client had paid for it, I set it up for the her. I recommended against using their automatic renewal option as it’s tricky to cancel; Norton debit the credit card way in advance of the renewal date, just to make sure they get the money before people get a chance to cancel. I will arrange to uninstall Norton before the end of the subscription year and install a free antivirus instead.
- Sort out various iPad problems. I have seen lots of “incorrect Apple ID password” problems on iPads, iPhones and iPods. Even changing the password doesn’t seem to resolve the problem sometimes. Anyway, I fixed the problem and installed Chrome (browser), Kindle, and some other software to help her get the most from her iPad.
Since the client has several other things she wants me to take care of, she agreed to sign up for my monthly CBits Subscription service. Rather than pay-as-you-go, she will pay a small monthly amount which works out cheaper than paying per visit for most clients. She gets some other benefits too, like priority service, and if she doesn’t use up all her ‘allowance’ of time, she can call me in to service all her computers, iPad, and phone to make sure they’re all up to date and working efficiently.