Windows 10 Upgrade is Happening Whether You Want It To or Not

I received a call today from a friend telling me that his computer was automatically upgrading to Windows 10. He was in the middle of something and his computer just rebooted and showed it was upgrading to Windows 10. 

As I mentioned in an AskBillFirst Newsletter, Microsoft said it would start doing this but from what I was reading, they said that it wouldn’t upgrade automatically, that it would just download and give you the option to upgrade. I guess that’s not what’s happening.

What can you do if your computer automatically upgrades to Windows 10? Well, the first thing is to let it completely upgrade. Don’t try to stop it or turn your computer off. That may disable your computer. After it’s done upgrading, you may want to use it for a couple of days to see what you think and make sure your programs all work. OR, you can roll it back to your original Windows version. Microsoft gives you 30 days to do so.

If you decide to keep Windows 10, as I stated in an AskBillFirst newsletter, there are some settings that need to be changed from the default Microsoft settings. I can help you with that.

Every Windows computer has had this “update” installed on their computer. It’s just a matter of time until it activates and upgrades fully to Windows 10. There is a way to uninstall that update before it activates, thus preventing the Windows 10 upgrade from happening. If you’d like to do that, you must uninstall update KB3035583 from your installed Windows update. Those who have signed up for my monthly maintenance service have this taken care of as it’s one of the many things I do to keep you computers running cleanly and efficiently.

Let me know if you’d like to find out more.

RANSOMWARE – What is it? How to Avoid it!!!

Perhaps you heard of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center that recently had to pay $17,000 to hackers who had seized control of the hospital’s computer systems and held them for ransom? They aren’t the only ones being held ransom, just the latest. There were over 4 million ransomware attacks my mid-year 2015 and it’s growing.

Now there’s a hospital in Kentucky that has recently been hit with ransomware. You can read about it here.

It’s not just hospitals and large companies who get hit. Individuals do as well.

What is ransomware? Ransomware is malicious software that allows a hacker to access a computer or network of computers, encrypt the files on that computer and then request money to decrypt it. Doing so basically lets the hackers hold your files or computer hostage. Even if you pay, there’s usually no guarantee that your files will be released.How does your computer get hacked? Generally, it happens when you open an infected attachment in an email, or you visit an infected website (which WOT should protect you from). Once the software gets on your computer, it may take a day or so to go to work but when it does, you’ll find that your sensitive files, your pictures, and videos, your files in your Documents folder, are all locked and there’s nothing you can do to open them; unless you pay the ransom.

How to avoid it? The single biggest thing that will defeat it is having a regularly scheduled backup. If you are attacked with ransomware you can clean up your computer and restore your files from backup. Keep in mind that some ransomware will also encrypt files on an attached external drive so if you’re backing up to an external drive, disconnect it when you’re done with the backup. You can also back up your files to the internet. I use iDrive for my cloud backup. With iDrive, you can back up not only your computer files, but you can back up your cell phone files, such as pictures, contacts, text messages, Facebook pictures and videos and more. You can back up multiple computers and devices to the same account. You can also backup to a USB hard disk attached to your computer for a local backup.  You can check it out at https://goo.gl/yjQ8SM.

Next, make sure that your antivirus software is current and active.

Make sure that your programs are updated, especially Windows and Adobe software.

Do NOT open email attachments unless you are 100% sure they are safe, even if it says it’s from UPS, FedEx, or your best friend. If a strange window pops up in your browser, use Ctrl-Alt-Del and go to TaskManager to close your browser. Don’t click on the pop up as they will often be programmed to install malicious software and never call the phone number in the pop-up to have them “fix” the malware attack (they only want access to your computer to do more bad things).

If you have any questions, please email me and I’d be happy to help you.