• Ransomware Prevention Steps

    1. Backup regularly

    2. Keep a backup copy offline. Backups are your most important tool (and safeguard).
      • While Technology makes every effort to maintain reliable backups of your network data, our systems are not immune to failure either. It is OK to use a form of secondary storage to have a backup to the backup, so to speak.
      • If you utilize Google Drive or a USB drive as a backup location, keep the following in mind:
        • Google Drive is a useful primary or alternate storage, and it is great for universal access, but has limitations. By itself, Google drive is no safer than any other storage, if this is the sole location of your data. 
        • If you utilize the Google Drive application to sync a local copy of your data with your Google account, this too is vulnerable, and in certain circumstances will have no benefit as being a second copy of data. g., If a local copy of a file becomes encrypted by ransomware, the Google Drive app will dutifully sync your now-encrypted copies of your files to your Google drive. For this and other varied technical reasons, Google Drive doesn’t truly count as a ‘backup’.
        • External USBs are useful, if used as offline storage. If they are left continuously connected, they are just as vulnerable to ransomware threats as any connected or network drive.
        • It would be better to use Google Drive and USB drives in combination, rather than separately, keeping in mind the limitations stated above.
    1. Don’t enable Office macros if prompted from any unknown/unsolicited file

    2. Beware unsolicited technical support phone calls telling you your system is compromised
      • The goal of the solicitor is either to obtain credit card information, or to get you to install malicious software (such as a keylogger) to actually compromise your machine for their benefit, or both.
      • They will try to convince you to visit fraudulent web sites
      • They may direct you to legitimate web sites to download and install remote management software, granting them access to your computer.
      • The only people in LDISD who will legitimately do this are in the LDISD Technology department. LDISD doesn’t outsource computer support. 
    1. Practice safe computing
      • Beware unsolicited emails/attachments
      • If you don’t know the sender of an email, don’t open the message. Definitely do not open any attachments, or click any web links in such a message.
      • Do not troll your spam folder in Gmail. Do not open emails in your spam folder.  Do not open attachments contained in emails in your spam folder.  If you need to look for a missing/expected email which may have been filtered as spam, that is one thing, and even occasionally necessary.  But you should not be spending time in this folder, for any other reason.
      • If you know the sender of an email message, but are not expecting an attachment, don’t open the attachment without first confirming with the sender.
      • Don’t routinely and randomly surf through ad links on web pages (yes, it is often tempting).
      • Do not respond to unsolicited prompts to enable macros in Microsoft Office files. This can come in the form of an email and/or email attachment.
      • Do not plug USB drives of unknown origin into your computer/laptop. If you find one in the parking lot, don’t add it to your collection.  Turn it in to lost-and-found, destroy it, or call the Technology department.  But do not plug it into your device.
      • Beware uninitiated User Access Control (UAC) prompts; do not disable UAC settings because they are annoying

     Report strange computer symptoms to Technology immediately via ext 8406 and/or School Dude.