Obviously, I’m a big proponent of always having two copies of any and all of your important files. As an amateur photographer, I can’t tell you how devastated I would be to come home from a trip and discover that my memory card had been lost or otherwise unavailable and I had lost all the photos I had just taken. As a professional, I’d likewise be in a world of hurt without all of my documentation, notes, etc.
That’s why I get why there are people out there paying ransom to hackers when they find themselves infected with CryptoLocker or other malware. You simply have to have those files, and there seems to be no way, once you’ve been infected, to decrypt those files and get them back without paying the ransom. But, we shouldn’t be paying ransom, that’s not helping the situation at all. If you have a good backup, then you can use the various tools to clean the malware off your computer, and go grab a copy of your files.
Of course, you should also be practicing safe computing in order to not get infected in the first place, but we all have those friends and family members who just can’t resist the allure of a random email attachment. So for their sakes, go ahead and get them an external drive and make a copy of their files for safe, offline, keeping.
Oh and go ahead and send them this link on fighting CryptoLocker, if they are going to be clicking links any way.
Hope all of you US readers have a very Happy Thanksgiving!