Securing your Browser.

With the security issues involving your web browser these days, such as drive-by downloads, and other malicious attacks, it is important to do as much as you can to secure your browser. One thing that can be done, to help block a common avenue of attack, is to install a JavaScript blocker.

While it used to be that one could disable JavaScript, so many sites these days rely on it, that disabling it is no longer feasible. By using a blocker, one can selectively enable JavaScript only where needed. The methodology is to install the blocker, which normally disables JavaScript at all sites. Of course, you then start seeing sites that are not functioning properly due to JavaScript blocking. When that happens, you can enable JavaScript only for that site. Or, more to the point, only for the scripts on that site that are required. You will be surprised at the number of JavaScripts that many sites run, which are not directly related to what that site is doing.

A site may be running 10, 15, 20, or more, JavaScripts, of which only one or two may need to be enabled to get the site functioning. The rest are feeding your data to ad sites, and other data trackers, all without informing you.

Adding a JavaScript blocker to your browser varies by the browser you use. You may find it by looking at the available plugins for your specific web browser, or you may need to use a search engine to find one that works for your browser. It is worth it to spend a bit of time searching out, and implementing, a blocker. Once you get used to it, it only takes a few seconds to grant the needed functions on a web site, while leaving non-essential scripting blocked.

Dave.

Speeding Up Your Computer

Speeding Up Your Computer

Have you noticed recently that your emails are not zipping out rapidly as they once did? Maybe your programs are loading slowly, or documents or pictures take forever to come up. Perhaps your most-used browser just hangs there for a while before doing its job.

It is so annoying when your computer starts slowing down, but it’s useful to know that this will happen, sooner or later, to all computers if some basic steps aren’t taken. There are many reasons why computers slow down, but here are some basic steps that you can take as a starting point to help solve the problem.

Clean out your trash bin. The items you have put there are not removed from your hard drive but kept there so they can be restored if you need them later. Check contents first, then delete those that will not be needed in the future.

Clean out your Temporary Internet Files. If you do a lot of web browsing, information accumulates rapidly here. Close all Internet browsers, open “Internet Options,” then click delete in “Browsing History” section.

Get rid of unneeded programs. Remove all programs that are no longer used, but make sure that you have completely uninstalled them, leaving no application leftovers that will slow down your computer.

Re-organize your desktop. Desktop icons are there to make it easier to navigate your system, but too many files or widgets can clutter your desktop and slow your system. Remove icons that are seldom used.

Keep your computer updated. Hardware, software, and operating system should all be in sync. New updates often have bug fixes that can improve your computer’s speed and performance.

If your business needs to purge files that are no longer needed, we can help you take care of this quickly and safely. Just give us a call at 800/425-672-4806 or email us for professional service that will enhance your business needs. Call today!

Marlene

Modern, reliable Hybrid Cloud backup without the cost and complexity

Modern, reliable Hybrid Cloud backup without the cost and complexity

SolarWinds® Backup is the simple, powerful, and affordable cloud-based backup service for your virtual and physical servers. Reduce the cost and complexity of backup without sacrificing speed or reliability. Enjoy a low TCO, with no hidden costs.

  • Cloud-based backups mean no need to worry about storage requirements
  • Protect physical and virtual servers and their applications across major operating systems and hypervisors, with a single product
  • Fast backup, rapid restore of even large machines and databases with built-in compression.
  • A single dashboard lets you verify the status of all your backups at a glance
  • Implementation is as easy as dropping an agent on each server.

HYBRID CLOUD BACKUP

SolarWinds® Backup is the best of both worlds, offering a hybrid cloud architecture that meets every need with one solution — and meets them fast. If a physical disaster like a fire takes down your hardware, you can restore fully from the cloud. If you need to recover a large file or data set quickly, you can access the local drive.

What does this mean for your business? Efficiency. SolarWinds® Backup’s hybrid cloud backup lets you manage all of your backups from a single system, so you can streamline your processes. 

BARE METAL RECOVERY

Bare Metal Recovery Disasters happen. If you lose entire systems, SolarWinds® Backup provides a bare metal recovery feature that lets you rebuild from the ground up.

With bare metal recovery, you can restore from the BIOS and get your systems back to work with nothing more than a simple bootable USB drive. Their worst-case scenario will become a minor blip on the radar, earning you. Don’t wait around for the worst—prepare for it and try SolarWinds® Backup.

TRUE DELTA DEDUPLICATION

Efficiency wins. That’s why SolarWinds® Backup features True Delta™ data deduplication, which captures byte-level changes instead of the full data set. This leads to shorter backup windows and allows for more efficient bandwidth usage.

After the initial system backup of your data, True Delta deduplication will back up changes only. And it does so at the byte level rather than the file level. Translation: The system backs up smaller amounts of data each time, allowing you to back up more frequently with less system drain. The result? Speed and efficiency, for you. 

LOCALSPEEDVAULT

When systems fail, recovery speed is everything. Your backup product must enable you to meet your recovery time objectives. That’s where LocalSpeedVault™ in SolarWinds® Backup comes in.

When LocalSpeedVault is enabled, MSP Backup & Recovery will automatically choose whether to restore from the LocalSpeedVault, the cloud, or both—whatever’s fastest. This gives you the quickest path to restoring continuity. Maximize uptime: with SolarWinds® Backup today.

BACKUP DOCUMENTS FOR WORKSTATIONS INEXPENSIVELY

Many organizations don’t back up more than a critical server and maybe a handful of workstations. This leaves their clients at risk of losing critical data. Foras low as $3 per workstation per month, the Backup Documents feature for SolarWinds® Backup will automatically back up your documents on their workstations twice per day. With SolarWinds global cloud network, you can easily restore from your cloud versions to any location.  Backup Documents lets you scale your backup services at an affordable price while providing greater protection against document loss from hardware failures, accidental deletions, or even ransomware.

Contact CCS Sales to see if the SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Backup Manager is a good fit for your company.

Recovering From a Ransomware Attack

Recovering From a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. It is getting more common to get random emails with subjects indicating they are package tracking, voice mails, photo edits, and so on. Many of these are attempts to get you to take the bait, click the link, and ultimately install ransomware. Much has been written about recognizing malicious emails, not opening mail from unknown users, and other good advice. What happens, however, if you are unfortunate and do get hit with ransomware?

We are assuming this is a true Ransomware infection, where an active payload of malware has been added to your system. Another type of Ransomware is Scareware masquerading as Ransomware. This latter Ransomware has no payload but threatens you with data encryption as well. It is best to assume any Ransomware threat includes a payload, at first. A safe mode reboot investigation can help you check if a payload is active. If the infection is just Scareware, you may be safe with a reboot and comprehensive malware scan to confirm there is no infection active.

First, be very suspicious of any unusual activity. One of the first signs, even before the ransom notice pops up, is that programs will stop working, or documents will disappear. This activity is due to the malicious software starting to encrypt your files. If anything like that happens, take immediate action. First, disconnect your computer from your network. That is, physically disconnect the network cable, or if you use a wireless connection, turn it off. Also, immediately shut down your computer. I do not usually advocate just turning off the power, but this is one time that it is not a bad idea. The idea is that if ransomware has started on your system, to limit the damage occurring.

Try to start your computer in safe mode, and begin investigating. Make sure you lookup entering safe mode in Windows on your version to MAKE SURE you do NOT get a normal boot or the Ransomware will be active again. Check for those programs or documents that suddenly disappeared. If there is a file with the same name, but the extension has changed, most likely ransomware is the culprit. In that case, be prepared to do some research, and possibly still lose some work. It depends on the active Ransomware variant since some have been Ransomware payloads have been cracked and there are recover utilities available.

Other Ransomware payloads do not have removal utilities, and you will have to go to your back copies. Before that, however, you need to make sure that the machine is cleaned of the ransomware programs or your system will be reinfected and you will need to start over again. If utilities exist to clean the Ransomeware for your system, they should be used immediately. If not, a lot of digging and experimenting will be required. If there is no cleaning utility you may need to reformat the infected drives, reinstall the operating system, and then restore from a full image backup, NOT just a file backup. In either case, spend a lot of time checking your system, before putting it back on your network and getting on with your work. You want to be very, very, sure that the Ransomware is gone, or you will be exposing the rest of the computers on your network to Ransomware infections.

Recovering from Ransomware is a critical task that can be very complex.  This blog is just a simple overview.  We recommend you contact CCS Retail Systems Support for further guidance and services to ensure the Ransomware is properly eliminated from your systems. Remember that if you comply with the Ransomware demands there is NO guarantee that your payment will result in any recovery of your system.  The best course of action is to defeat the Ransomware request NOT honor it.

Dave.