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The WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack: A Worldwide Wake Up Call

The WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack: A Worldwide Wake Up Call

At this point, most of us know that data security breaches are going to happen. Headlines about hackers causing chaos and accessing people’s identifying information appear regularly. The WannaCrypt Ransomware attack is a little different. Rather than sneaking into systems to steal data, the team behind WannaCrypt figured out a way to hold peoples’ computers hostage. Ransomware basically renders a computer inoperable, and makes it impossible to access files, unless the computer’s owner pays a ransom demand of several hundred dollars.

What makes the WannaCrypt ransomware attack unique is that it impacted people all around the world. However, thousands of individuals and businesses are hit with ransomware attacks every single day, and the effect this can have on your personal or professional life can be devastating. Paying the cash the ransomware demands is no guarantee you’ll be able to get your data back.In this recent WannaCrypt case, paying the hackers never resulted in getting their data back.

Protect Yourself Against Ransomware Attacks

The first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself against ransomware attacks is to keep your computer’s operating system and browsers continually updated. WannaCrypt impacted people who were using Windows XP but left people using Windows 10 alone. Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in older operating systems. Your computer will prompt you to update your operating system as needed. You can also adjust your settings so your computer will update automatically without you needing to do anything.

[Tweet “Update your computer’s operating and browsers continuously.”]

The second step is to be extremely diligent about only downloading files from known sources and to avoid clicking on attachments unless you are absolutely certain they are legitimate. Ransomware is often delivered through attachments and downloads. Hackers are smart, and ransomware attachments can be disguised to look like they’re coming from someone you know: this is a huge challenge without a universal solution at this point. Being mindful is your best defense.

It’s important to back up your data regularly. We strongly recommend saving data to the cloud. There are a wide range of programs like Dropbox, Carbonite, iDrive and more that are reliable, secure, and provide a home for your files that ransomware can’t touch. Backing up your files means that ransomware can’t hurt you: if you’ve been impacted, have your hard drive wiped and reinstall clean data from your backup. For more information about keeping your computer safe against ransomware attacks, we recommend “An Enterprise Guide to Preventing Ransomware Attacks”, available free for download here.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Specialties:
Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Platforms/Tools:
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress

Analyst/Strategist

Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Specialties:
Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Platforms/Tools:
Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office