How-To: Microsoft Outlook

Apr 5

Locky Virus – The Real Threat


 What is Locky?

Locky is one of the newest biggest threats to a computer that your average person is going to encounter. This virus attacks the files on your computer that have a file type that can be anything ranging from Documents to Videos to Photos. What it does is locks the file and makes them unusable without a decryption key that you have to pay for of course.

This is known as “Ransomware” in the tech industry and it can be very difficult to recover from if you are not properly prepared with backups and proper anti-virus software.

This particular attack tends to almost always come in the form of an email that looks like it could be safe with a attachment that has the ending .zip. You will be prompted to open the .zip and see a document that when opened looks like a bunch of gobbled up letters/numbers and it will ask you to enable macros on your word program to be legible.

What you don’t see is it using that “macro” ability to install in the back ground and lock out all your files and giving it unrestricted access to your computer as well as any external drives or network locations you have the ability to save or write to. Once it has infected your machine you really only have 2 options. Pay them and pray that they give you the program to remove the encryptions or recover from a backup solution.

Virus prevention is a constant fight and will always be something that we as both users and technicians have to be vigilant for and work on learning about and how to prevent the new threat.


  • Always check the sender of an email.  Remember if the email is coming from a bank, shipping company, online shopping site, or other normal vendors confirm they are the real sender prior to following any link or opening attachments.  Visit the vendor’s website for clarification and/or to report any fraudulent emails.
  • Review the content of email.  If it contains links, hover over the link to determine if it goes to the same website the email is from; if it’s from someone you know, but you were not expecting an attachment, contact that person; if it only contains a link and no other content, delete it.  Do not open Zip files if you were not expecting them.  For example, faxes come in the form of a PDF, not zipped.
  • Keep your computer up to date with patches
  • Keep your antivirus software updated
  • Always backup your data!!  Invest in Carbonite or some other online backup solution.  If you are running Windows 7 or 10, setup a schedule backup routine.
  • Consider another layer of protection with Malwarebytes.  It’s effective and reasonable.

Helpful Links:

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Oct 23

Upgrade Windows 8 to 8.1

What’s New in 8.1

  • The Start button is back! Finally:  Not as before… But it is now in the lower left corner of the desktop, but all it does is take you to the modern start screen — just like the empty corner did before the upgrade.   Now shutting down your PC will be FASTER-once you right click on the windows start button!
  • Boot directly to the desktop. People hated booting to the start screen. TO BOOT TO desktop: right-click the taskbar and choose Properties>Navigation>Start Screen.  You can also control other elements of Windows 8 here, like disabling the “hot corners.”
  • Snapping is better.  Now you can snap more than two apps side-by-side, and easily drag the windows around to adjust their widths automatically. It makes the modern experience actually usable.  Just drag your applications, and watch the screen, once you see where you want your application to snap, release your mouse button.
  • You can search “everywhere.”  When you search you see results from everywhere at once — the local hard drive, the Web and apps.
  • Vastly improved PC settings.  The revamped PC settings has improved so much that you rarely need to visit the old control panel.
  • Seamless desktop and start screen. There are a variety of visual improvements and wallpaper changes, but hands down the best one is the coherent background in the desktop and start screen.   Cleaner!

How do I upgrade:

  • Go to the Start screen, and tap or click the Store tile.
  • Store tile on Start
  • Store tile on the Start screen
    In the Store, tap or click the Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 update. if you don’t see the update on the Store home screen, see Why can’t I find the update in the Store?
  • Tap or click Download.

The update will download and install in the background while you use your PC to do other things. The installer will check to make sure you have enough disk space, that your apps and devices will work with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, and that you have all the required updates.

IT Pros can visit Technet for more details.

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Apr 18

Windows 8.1: ByPass Metro

Still trying to avoid your next PC purchase because of Microsoft Metro Start Screen?  Well, you may not be the only one.  Good news though.  Microsoft is releasing an update to Windows 8-Windows 8.1 (or codenamed Windows Blue)!  With this version of Windows, you will be able to bypass the Metro Start Screen.   They will be debuting their new version (Windows 8.1 Build 9369) this June.

Other key new features:

  • Files app branded with SkyDrive logo
  • Multitasking improvements
  • Apps improvements: adding is easier and organizing is improved

Can’t wait to see the improvements.  Stay tuned….

See AppleInsider

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