I've recently had two friends of mine fall for the Ransomware scheme where they have something popup on their desktop looking like it's from Microsoft saying for them to contact Microsoft immediately and gives them either a 844, 855, 877 number that is based in China but the people they talked to are from India or sound like they have an Indonesian accent and they ask for their credit card information then ask for them to have access to their computer to remove the virus they obviously installed through click bate link online or through an email attachment.
Microsoft will never contact you like this!
If you have fallen for this you must cancel any credit cards you gave them access to and reset your computer back to factory as they will install a layer of backdoor software into your system that they will gain total control of your entire desktop as well as your Webcam.
The hard fall for most novice people is the fact the scammers can set their connection and their user name to your desktop as "Windows Live Help" and the callers have an Indian accent which most people know Microsoft call centers are based in India or they used to be...
BestBuy Geek Squad has seen these numbers of people with this issue skyrocketed from 2016 to 2017 and these scammers can make around 33k a day so you can see how bad it's gotten.
Microsoft claims that Windows 10 will fix this issue but both of my friends that got this are on Windows 10 but I have no idea if they been keeping their WIndows 10 up to date!
I recommend keeping the auto updater at default for your desktop or laptop!
I use a number of tools running on my desktop https://www.malwarebytes.com/ and a good virus scanner! I choose McAfee because I get the best suite of tools for free for being a AT&T Uverse customer!
If your a AT&T Uverse customer you can download it from this link after you log into your Uverse account!
And yes if it asks by all means install the McAfee Web Adviser tool for your web browser!
Here is a lists of recommended Ransom-ware Prevention software titles
Note: these are sometimes both Antivirus and Malware combined
Another great idea is to use Google news and add the News Topic Randsomware and keep an eye on what's been happening in the world so your not a victim.
I believe it's a bit over the edge combatant but if you have the money to splurge you can use Life-lock but that is still going to require you to be careful as even as safe as they want you to feel with them it's like buying Diet Pills they don't work alone you have to watch what you eat and exercise to loose weight! Life-lock sounds great but if your careful enough and knowledgeable enough you can save yourself the money just by staying well informed!
Just make sure if you get the popup warning you do not call that number!!!! Be smart reformat your computer if you cannot figure out how to remove the warning/virus the Ransomware peeps created!
The sad part is Government officials have found themselves having to pay the Ransomware so they could regain access to sensitive almost life threatening situations that were caused because their entire computer networks were disabled!
Here are hopeful solutions and ideas coming down the line to prevent it from even getting to your computers or systems!
According to Lucian Constantin from PcWorld
Users will no longer be able to attach .JS files to emails in Gmail, regardless of whether they attach them directly or they include them in archives like .gz, .bz2, .zip or .tgz. For those rare cases when such files need to be shared via email, users can upload them to a storage service like Google Drive and then share the link.
The .JS file extension will be added an existing list of other banned file attachments that includes: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSP, .MST, .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF and .WSH. Most of these file types have long been abused by cybercriminals to send malware via email.
[ Further reading: How the new age of antivirus software will protect your PC ]
Other scripting files like .VBS (VBScript), .VBE (VBScript Encoded), .WSH (Windows Script Host Settings File) and .WSF (Windows Script File) -- all of which Gmail already blocks -- can be used in a similar way.
The general rule is that if you don't recognize a file type and don't know what it does, you should never open it. If you are expecting files in unusual formats, you should always double check the source before opening them and it would be best not to share them via email.
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