Imagine what it would be like to lose all your family's digital photos and other important documents that are stored on your computer, especially those relating to a recently departed loved one.
Sadly, this is what has happened to an iTandCoffee client just this week.
This poor woman, who is an AGL customer, was caught out by the AGL Email Scam - a scam email that look very legitimate, and that has been 'doing the rounds' for months now, catching out tens of thousands of people.
Don't be caught by the AGL Email Scam (or others like it)
The AGL scam email is particularly nasty. I looks like a real AGL monthly bill notification.
Those who click on the mail message's attached .zip file on their Windows computer (as this lady did) will find that all their files suddenly become inaccessible, locked up by a 'ransomware' virus called 'Cryptolocker'. (This .zip file does not work on Macs, iPads, and iPhones, so does not cause the same damage.)
A message appears, asking that a ransom be paid - an amount of around $800. This will supposedly then release all the files and allow the victim to continue using their computer.
Unfortunately, even if the ransom is paid and the files are unlocked, the computer may still be infected with the virus and the criminals will be able to continue monitoring the computer and tracking keystrokes - meaning that further theft of money and private information could occur.
Here is an article about this AGL scam, for anyone who has not heard of it and the damage that it does.
What can be done if you are caught out by this ransomware?
For those who are 'stung' by this nasty virus, the best solution is to restore from a backup. Unfortunately, so few people actually do backups of their computers - including this particular lady.
So, what can this lady do to retrieve all her precious photos and files if she has no backup? Sadly, it is unlikely that she can if she does not pay the ransom.
Her best bet before she does anything is to consult an IT professional who can advise on whether there is any chance of retrieving her precious files.
If she decides to pay the ransom and gets access again to her data, her photos and files should be saved to an external hard drive. Her best bet then would be to have her computer wiped and the operating system re-installed, to start with 'a clean slate'.
iTandCoffee can assist with this - just call 1300 885 420 to find out more.
Are you backing up your computer?
If you are not doing a regular backup of your computer, you are putting yourself at serious risk of losing everything that is stored on that computer.
Just this week, iTandCoffee has seen two clients who have suffered computer problems and have not had backups. The stress that this causes is enormous - especially when it comes to lost photos.
Don't put it off! Start backing up the precious data on your computer, iPad, iPhone or other device today.
If you don't know how, it's time to arrange an appointment at iTandCoffee. We can advise on the options and help you set up this essential protection for your valuable data.
Book an appointment online or call 1300 885 420.
Call 1300 885 420
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